- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 10 Jan 2018
Permit to work for construction
To help develop this article, click 'Edit this article' above.
Permit to work (PTW) systems are formal procedures used to control activities that are considered high-risk. Permits only allow authorised personnel to perform those activities at specified times and in a way set out in the permit and referenced documents.
- Electrical works.
- Hot works.
- Lone working.
- Lifting operations.
- Work in confined spaces.
- Work to high risk spaces such as laboratories, or industrial plant.
- Work at height.
- Work to roofs.
- Temporary works.
- Work with asbestos.
- Work to high pressure systems.
A permit to work system should:
- Only allow permits to be issued by authorised, competent personnel.
- Prevent high-risk work being carried out without a risk assessment having been undertaken.
- Consider whether any other work will impact on, or be impacted by, the permitted work.
- Ensure control measures and supervision are in place.
- Ensure method statements and emergency procedures are prepared.
- Ensure work is checked and returned to a safe state.
- Provide information to other parties that might be affected by the work.
- Include a system for handing back and cancelling permits.
- Describe the work and its location.
- Provide information about foreseeable risks.
- Provide information necessary for working safely.
- Set out requirements for personal protective equipment.
- Set out the time when the work can be carried out.
- Provide information about other permits.
Permit to work systems do not in themselves make activities safer, this is only possible through the implementation of the correct procedures. It is important therefore that systems not box-ticking exercises, that they are explained at site inductions and that they are continuously monitored, reviewed and kept up to date.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Health and Safety.
- Method statement.
- Personal protective equipment
- Risk assessment.
- Site induction.
- Site records and registers.
 External references.
Featured articles and news
Exploring local assets of community significance. Book review.
Wood-burning stoves should not be used in thatch-roofed buildings.
Servitisation, smart systems and connectivity.
What happens to the Construction Products Regulation if there is no Brexit deal.
The first step to long-term prosperity.
The status and rights of employees in construction
Continuing to share environmental best practice
The employee assistance programme EAP
HMRC's Construction Industry Scheme
What 'net-zero emissions' means for civil engineers
The meaning of Rw and Dw/DnTw