Is your PTW system wasting your time and exposing you to hazardous situations?

A common complaint that I hear when visiting sites, is that the administrative side of the Permit to Work (PTW) system wastes a huge amount of time.  I can't really see how this is the case.  The permit system should be designed to ensure that controls for potentially hazardous work are implemented and communicated to all affected parties. On average, the administrative time taken to fill out a PTW is less than five (5) minutes. If the longest part of this process is the time taken to fill out the PTW form, there are problems with the system.

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Gold Room Isolation Efficiency

A routine work process in a gold room is to clean the electrowinning cells. Doing this task requires the isolation of the electrical supply to the cells as well as isolating the supply of the gold laden solution; 5 isolation points in total. This activity is repeated after each electrowinning cycle which is usually daily.

We were recently working on a site where this isolation activity was managed under the group isolation process detailed in the site energy control and isolation procedure requiring the use of an isolation procedure and the issuing of a Permit to Work (PTW). The value added by following the rigorous PTW process was challenged as the site had provision in their current procedures to manage routine tasks on an individual basis by following a standardised procedure. We see this often where the time has not been taken to identify the routine tasks that can be managed in a much less time-consuming manner.

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Legislative Compliance

The NT government passed new legislation for Port Management in 2015 and in 2016 issued a notice that it must be complied with within a year. The company believed they satisfied the requirements of the legislation so took no further action. The governing body requested information detailing how the company was meeting the legislation and the information provided included bits and pieces from the company’s current system which did not satisfy the governing bodies requirements.

The company reached out to SSI for assistance requiring a quick turnaround of documentation to satisfy the requirements. The following steps were taken by SSI to assist the company in providing the required document:

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Major Hazards Facility Safety Case

A leading oil and gas company required approval from the QLD Hazardous Industries and Chemicals Branch (HICB) to commence the operations of their facility.

In order to obtain approval, SSI was engaged to manage each stage of the safety case and present as a complete package to the HICB for approval. This process included:

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Smart Staff International celebrates 20 years in business

Smart Staff International has just reached its 20th year in operation. This is a significant milestone which we are very proud to have been able to achieve. When the business was first launched (at that stage as Smart Staff Australia) the objective was to provide the resource processing industry with operational and maintenance training material that people would use. This objective was borne out of the founding partner’s first-hand experience of seeing poor training systems result in repeatable failures that led to production losses, excessive costs, serious injuries and the fatality of a close relative.

The business has stayed true to the founding partner’s objective of improving processes that frontline employees are required to follow and is encapsulated in our principle of “Creating Practical Workplace Systems”.

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