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Lesleyw  
#1 Posted : 13 January 2022 15:35:44(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Lesleyw

Advise please. One of our remote sites had an issue late last year. 

A sub-contractor was called on site to carry out a task urgently, threat to building, which included working 

in a confined space.

The site supervisor was on holiday and his second in command would not raise a permit as he felt he didn't have enough experience of confinedspace to fill out the permit.

The HSE Manager who is based 100 miles away filled out and signed the PTW and asked the second in command to fill in the missing spaces - calibration certificates for gas monitoring equipment - tags for harness and other access equipment and checking that equipment had been correctly locked off prior to starting work, and got the sub-contractor to sign off.

The HSE Manager reviewed the supplied RAMS and competences and asked for changes to be made. 

My question is does the person who raised the permit have to be on site whilst the work is carried out, dutring high risk operations?

Does the sequence of events as outlined above sound correct?

Roundtuit  
#2 Posted : 13 January 2022 15:56:37(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

If you are remote and therefore absent how do you see/hear/touch/smell/sense the potential dangers?

A worthwhile permit system has someone responsible present on site to sign the task over and accept the completion otherwise it is just a tick box sheet giving a false sense of security.

Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 13 January 2022 15:56:37(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

If you are remote and therefore absent how do you see/hear/touch/smell/sense the potential dangers?

A worthwhile permit system has someone responsible present on site to sign the task over and accept the completion otherwise it is just a tick box sheet giving a false sense of security.

stevedm  
#4 Posted : 13 January 2022 16:38:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

The permit issuer can hand the permit over to the local supervisor to manage on the ground...generally tho' you should be checking on your own permit at the frequency commesurate with the risks involved...

peter gotch  
#5 Posted : 13 January 2022 16:44:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Hi Lesley  - sounds like either a brave HSE Manager and/or a very relaxed permit system that probably isn't reliable. Permits issued as that's what the system says, not because a Permit is the right way to control the work.

Full marks to the No 2 for declining to take ownership if they didn't feel competent. 

andybz  
#6 Posted : 14 January 2022 07:44:14(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
andybz

According to HSG 250 a the Permit Issuer is not necessarily the person who prepares the permit and there is no specific requirement for an Authoriser to visit the worksite.

How could the situation have been handled differently on the day?

* The job could have gone ahead without a permit;

* The 2nd in command could have issued a permit he/she was not competent to issue;

* The 2nd in command and work party could have convinced themselve that it was not really a confined space so only required a 'normal' permit

* The HSE manager could have refused to prepare the permit, the work would not have gone ahead and the thereat to the building could have been realised.

Would any of these scenarios have been safer?

Trainng the 2nd in command to issue permits for confined space may be a solution for the future but in practice, unless they have the opportunity to manage work of that nature on a regular basis their increased competency on paper may not actually make the job safer.

thanks 1 user thanked andybz for this useful post.
pseudonym on 14/01/2022(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#7 Posted : 14 January 2022 11:18:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

So my take on the PTW system when used with contractors  is that essentially it is the complementary part of a RAMS. The contractor knows how to do their job (hopefully) but will  not be familiar with local issues in a particular location. So the contractor does their bit and shows it to the responsible person who checks out against their local knowledge and in the PTW adds their local knowledge.  Ideally the person would be someone with upto date local knowledge but someone 100 miles might be able to do it. There are no hard and fast rules about this  you just need someone to apply their judgement. Someone a hundred miles away might even conceivably know more about a site than someone who works on the site but never leaves their office.  

thanks 1 user thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
Kate on 14/01/2022(UTC)
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