7th September 2016.

Permits in the construction environment are traditionally associated with high risk works that have the potential to cause harm – working at heights, entering exclusion zones, excavations, hot works, just to name a few.

Permits exclusively don’t provide a safe working environment, but it is an additional step to ensure safe work practices are in place before starting the high risk task.

Ensuring all controls are in place and followed in relation to permit management is challenging at the best of times. Most likely there are multiple permits live at the same time. They can be spread across the entire site footprint, with different permit authorisers and permit holders, for different tasks. This makes it difficult to know the status onsite of active permits in real time. It also provides challenges when trying to put additional focus on high risk areas where permits are live.

Traditionally permit management has been implemented using a variety of steps depending on the companies’ processes. This can include:

  • Printing paper permits
  • Printing off a duplicate
  • Keeping the original copy in a permit folder in the site office
  • Marking the permit up to show it’s a duplicate
  • Updating the permit board to reflect permits are live
  • Removing them once they’re no longer active
  • Ripping up the printed copy in the field once its complete
  • Updating the copy in the folder to reflect its no longer in circulation

Doing these processes this way is heavily reliant on the people factor, and creates risks all the way along of not being accurate, putting people at risk. It always lead me to think there had to be an easier more time effective way. When I joined HammerTech one of the things that endeared me most to the platform was that it did so many of these elements for me, by default.

HammerTech creates the permit register, its accessible anywhere by any user, it assigns the associated SWMS, licenses and gives you the ability to assign personnel to the particular permit, and updates the permit boards in real time. This allows users to review information at the coal face in the field, adding more value and addressing issues as they arise.

It prevents clashes in the same area for things like exclusion zones by blocking out the area on the system as required, and prevents the issue of the permit blowing away in the field and losing all trace of it ever being in place.

From all aspects controlling permits using cloud based, smart technology is the way the industry is moving, for the better.