Are free Permit to Work templates fit for purpose?

bigstock-Redhead-man-with-long-beard-we-421807265If you are responsible for health and safety, you've probably checked out some of the free Permit to Work templates available on the internet. A generic template is certainly better than nothing, in many instances the 'one size fits all' approach is the right move. 

It’s a quick fix which might not be perfect but does most of what you want it to do. However, there are some areas where 'one size fits all' isn’t good enough and, arguably, workplace health & safety is one of them.

One size doesn’t always fit all

There are a whole range of situations where a Permit to Work is appropriate, Working at Height, Hot Work and Confined Spaces to name a few. These are very different scenarios with high levels of risk and supporting safe ways of working. Having a specific, tailored Permit to Work gives all parties the confidence that all the relevant safety points have been addressed on commencing the work.

Paperwork or paper that works?

A Permit to Work system should generate at least two copies, sometimes three. SG World’s unique, triplicate design means the information is only filled in once to create 3 copies – one for the issuer, one for the person undertaking the work and one for the central record. No photocopying required!

They are designed in an appropriate colour scheme, making them easy to read in an emergency situation and also include a warning sign on the reverse of one copy for display whilst the job is in progress.


Stay up to date with the latest best practice

Permits to Work are not actually legally required documents, however they are widely acknowledged as being best practice for workplace safety. The HSE has produced supporting guidance, HSG250, explaining the purpose of a permit, what it should contain, what colour it should be, how it should be used etc. Over the years SG World have developed our Permit to Work systems to reflect any changes in regulatory guidance and also incorporate the feedback from our large, cross-sector customer base. This means they’ve been effectively designed for Health & Safety professionals by Health and Safety professionals.

Send out a safety message

It’s not easy getting people to follow health and safety procedures and a piece of photocopied A4 paper based on a free template doesn’t convey the same gravitas as a dedicated system which can be branded with your company logo. It tells your workforce that you are investing in your Permit to Work system because you take Health and Safety seriously.

Because you're worth it

OK – SG World aren’t giving away our Permit to Work solutions for free. However nearly 10 million permits to work have been issued using our system, in the UK alone, because Health & Safety Managers recognise value for money and a good investment. The popular saying is if you think Health and safety is expensive, try an accident. We can supply a tailored, branded, 3 part Permit to Work system with warning sign for 67p per use, which in this context, is pretty affordable.

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