Permits To Work toolbox talk

A simple, 5 minute outline of what to cover in a toolbox talk on Permits To Work.

A Permit to Work may be used by many industries for a specific task that is required to be undertaken by an employer or contractor that is potentially high risk. Permits to work are important because they form part of a Safe system of work, which can help manage work activities.

Why run a Permit to Work Toolbox Talk?

  • Understand what a Permit to work is
  • When they are to be used
  • Do’s and Don’t of Permits to Work

What Is a Permit to Work?

  1. A Permit to Work is a written procedure, designed to protect people working in high-risk areas or activities. 
  2. It should set out the steps taken before, during and after the work is completed.
  3. It should specify things such as essential precautions, task to be done e.g., “fire watch”, measurements to be taken, hazards, authorised personnel, work hours, date and time, location etc. 

When A Permit to Work May Be Required

Types of work activities that may require a Permit to Work are:

  • Hot Work or Cold Work
  • Roof or Heights Work
  • Confined Space Work
  • High Voltage Electrical Work
  • Radiation Controlled Areas
  • Working Near or Above Deep Water
  • Excavation Work

Dos And Don’ts of Permit to Work



Understand your Permit to Work

Get involved in Permit to Work planning 

Bring any unnoticed or new hazards into the system

Good communication is vital 

Make sure they are issued prior to commencing work

Review Permits for Work regularly 

Display your Permit for Work clearly

Apply for an extension of the permit, if required

Carry out the work unless supervised

Ignore the Permit to Work

Ignore the agreed time frames

Don’t relax any of the conditions

Do not get complacent with health and safety measures just because a Permit for Work is in place

Do not continue work if a Permit to Work has been suspended

Note:  Failure to implement a Permit to Work system could be potentially fatal to a worker or workers. 


Key takeaways:

  • Permit to Work is required for working in high-risk areas or activities
  • It forms part of the Safe system of work
  • Adhere to the Permit to Work at all times 

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