- 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.
A permit to work might be required for activities such as:
- 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
Starting a new built environment degree? We have a wide range of resources aimed at students.
Former railway chief James Blake says trust and control are key to successful infrastructure projects.
Do you know your Rococo from your De Stijl, your Gothic from your Post-modernist?
May outlines a new funding strategy for housing associations and says the 'stigma' of social housing needs to end.
RIBA launches a consultation on a new Plan of Work for Fire Safety.
This article offers some basic rules to follow when writing your next specification.
The iconic Mackintosh Building will definitely be rebuilt, board chairwoman confirms.
The machinery used to fashion stone has changed dramatically - and so have the products.
This type of pile provides support to the building, as well as acting as a heat source and a heat sink.
Why investors are adopting the SDGs and why civil engineering could be crucial for delivering them.
Read about all the winners from the London ceremony of CIAT's 2018 Architectural Technology Awards.