What is the importance of the Approve tab in the Permit to Work (PTW), in OHS Online?
This is a really important question! Like previous mandatory sections of the PTW, this section is another fundamental section of the PTW. This is where the details of the PTW are confirmed and agreed by both the contractor (Permit Requester) and the client (Permit Issuer). The tab forms two sections, the Declaration and Approval Section (section 15) and the Hand-back and Acceptance section (section 16). Each of these sections acts as a kind of summary section to the PTW, as each section becomes applicable at a particular stage in the PTW process.
AGREEMENT AND APPROVAL FOR WORK TO BEGIN
Once the PTW has been set-up and the relevant safety precautions have been determined to ensure the work being done is safe to workers and employees alike, these safety precaution measures need to be put into place by the Permit Requester (and possibly aspects by the Permit Issuer too) before the work can begin. Amongst these safety precautions will be any induction training which needs to be given to the contractor and his workers, concerning the site and its workings.
Once all the necessary precaution measures are in place, these need to be confirmed by the Permit Issuer and then signed off by both parties before work commences. This is where section 15 plays an important role. It summarises these precautions, referencing them back to the relevant specific tabs and provides a means for both parties to sign their agreement that all is correct and work can now begin.
The importance of this lies in the fact that it creates an important means of transparency of the PTW process so that, in the event any serious incident should occur during the work being done, there is an audit trail to determine if the correct controls were in place and a means to confirm that the work began with the consent of both parties, removing the scenario of 'he said - she said'.
CONTRACTOR RETURN OF THE WORKPLACE TO THE CLIENT
Quite often during the work conducted by a contractor, client infrastructure or equipment can be damaged or the contractor goes off-site leaving the workplace messy and potentially hazardous to employees which can lead to unnecessary friction between the two parties and another case of 'he said - she said'.
This is where section 16 plays an important role in that it formalises the hand-back of the workplace from the contractor to the client. This allows the workplace to be checked to ensure it is returned to normal and is suitable for normal work operations again. Where there are concerns, these can be discussed and referenced back to the agreed details in the PTW so both parties can be clear on the matter.