Everyone involved with conducting hot works should be familiar with the Hot Work Permit system. It is often the case that this system is not being correctly followed, placing the work site and those there in potential danger. It is important that this system is adhered to because a potential fire poses a serious threat to all on site. The controls established on the permit to prevent the outbreak of fire must be clear, concise and most importantly put into effect by all involved with the work process – from the operative carrying out the task, to the Management responsible for issuing and receiving the permit.
Many major incidents have occurred due to a failure of the PTW system. One to note was the Piper Alpha disaster, where the permits in use were not correctly closed off and communication between workers and management broke down. This lead to a devastating event that cost the lives of many people on board the rig. This should serve as a reminder to us all that these systems are not put in place to hinder our work progress but for the safety of both ourselves and the work place in general.