New health and safety protocol on permits-to-work

The University has just launched its new health and safety protocol on permits-to-work. Read on to see how this might affect you.

If you are involved in the following work on property managed by the University please check the detail of the Standard or speak to your Health and Safety Manager:

  • Work on industrial gas systems
  • Excavations
  • Works on pressurised / steam systems
  • Work on high/ low voltage systems
  • Hot works

The protocol does not cover asbestos, work on medical gas pipeline systems, certain types of work in a confined space or other specific exclusions which are detailed in the Standard.

Read the new protocol on Permits-to-work

Key changes include:

  • There is a clear definition of situations requiring a permit-to-work.
  • FD Estates now manage the permit-to-work system on behalf of the University and must approve any variation. Permits cannot be issued for any other activity without their approval.
  • Only contractors from the Health and Safety Approved Contractors Registers (FD or central), or University staff authorised by FD Estates can be used for work requiring a permit-to-work.
  • The permit-to-work Procedure must be followed for the work activities above, and a risk assessment must be in place.
  • The key roles (Permit Issuer and Authorising Engineer and Permit Receiver) are formally appointed, defined and the processes relating to their authorisation and actions set out.
  • Permits-to-work are only issued by Permits Issuers who are trained, authorised and monitored by FD Estates.
  • New requirements for training (set out in the training matrix).
  • The elements included in a permit-to-work are defined.
  • A system to keep track of all issued permits to work must now be in place.
  • The permit-to-work can only be issued on the same day as the work will happen and does not exceed 8 hours unless an extension is specifically agreed.
  • A copy of the permit-to work is kept in the location of work.
  • Details of review, cancellation, suspension, hand back and the issue of new permits are set out.
  • A record of each permit must be kept for at least 3 years.

If you have any questions on implementation, or general feedback on the protocol please pass it onto Catherine O'Neill or send it to We plan to review the protocol in three months to check how effective it is, and would be delighted to hear your views.

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