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The Essential Permits All Construction Sites Need

By Jesse KeremaDigital Marketing Manager
Published on August 1, 2019

A focus and commitment to safety is more critical than in the construction industry than in just about all other fields. Workplaces are often high-risk, and employees are required to undertake tasks that could put them in harm's way if correct induction and safety procedures haven't yet been tackled.

To keep construction sites safe, compliant, and to prevent employees and contractors from injuring themselves, your worksite should be smart when it comes to permits. The days of walking on site and simply 'getting on with it' are over. It's time to modernise these workflows with automated site permissions with Sine.

In this post, we'll take a look at a few essential construction site permits, how they'll keep your worksite safe and your employees out of harm's way.

What is a Site Permit

Not to be confused with workplace visas or check-in permits — a site permit can be created and sent to employees, which enable them access to specific sites inside the workplace.

Site managers can easily ask questions such as ‘are you qualified to undertake this task’ when creating a permit. If a contractor says he or she is not qualified, they will be rejected entry or unable to record time spent on a specific worksite.

Think of a construction site permit as a crucial authorisation that either allows or prevents an employee or contractor from undertaking work they may not be qualified to do.

The Essential Work Permits You Need

Permits to work examples

To highlight the importance of safety, we’ve outlined some essential site permits that construction worksites need below. Through platforms like Sine, you’re able to send, approve, and deny work permits in real time, allowing approved contractors to enter a site without leaving the office.

Hot Works

Give project managers the chance to see whether contractors are qualified for working with tools such as welders and grinders. A questionnaire and other documents should be attached to ensure your contractors know how and when to use fire extinguishers, clean workspaces for safety and more.

A few points to include:

  • Have work surfaces been cleaned free of paint, vapours and grease?
  • Have areas around the workspace been barricaded?
  • Have all flammable liquids been purged from the worksite? 

If these requirements are met, the site permit can be accepted and check-in approved since the space is safe.

Working at Heights

Ensure all contractors are equipped with the experience and safety knowledge to perform productive work at heights, while maintaining their safety and the safety of others. A working at heights permit is an essential for workflows from solar panel installation, roof repairs and new home construction.

A few points to include:

  • Have signs, barricades and spotters been implemented prior to work at heights?
  • Have weather, wind, plants and trees been taken into account?
  • Will ladders, scaffolds, safety nets or any other equipment be used at height?

Once these requirements and others are met you’re able to move forward with granting authorisation.

Roof Access

Reduces the chance of unqualified personnel making their way on to rooftops to undertake work regarding air conditioning maintenance, electrical work and similar tasks. As a result, there’s a reduced chance of contractors or employees falling from a roof, dropping items from height or simply doing a poor job.

A few points to include:

  • Has radio equipment safety been considered?
  • Have weather conditions been taken into account?
  • Has the roof been deemed safe to walk upon or work with?

Reducing the risk of injury related to electrical equipment, slipping and more is easier with a permit.

Restricted Access

As construction sites are some of the highest risk workplaces, digital work permits are an effective way to prevent contractors and employees entering restricted zones such as environmentally-reserved spaces or dangerous site zones. Ensure all employees and teams are certified and able to remain safe, productive and aware of their requirements within restricted areas with a site permit.

A few points to include:

  • Has the area been deemed safe from contamination or other workflows?
  • Has the entire restricted zone been assessed?
  • Have employees undertaken required induction procedures?

A permit for a restricted site ensures no one is able to check in, or do work if the area is unsafe or if a staff member isn’t authorised - keeping them safe.

Asbestos Remediation

These permits are incredibly important to prevent contractors and employees finding their way to asbestos-contaminated sites. With site permits preventing access to these sites, you’re reducing risk of permanent injury and also ensuring anyone who is entering has the correct qualifications to remain safe.

A few points to include:

  • Are employees or contractors qualified to work with dangerous asbestos? 
  • Has the site or asbestos-filled material been assessed for stability or safety?
  • Are all other employees or staff at a safe distance from the site?

Within global law, asbestos site permits block unfit contractors and unqualified team members form coming into contact with the outlawed substance.

Confined Spaces

Ensuring staff are equipped to work in confined spaces reduces not only the risk of doing a poor job, but also prevents contractors and employees from hurting themselves or getting stuck in the space. Workflows from sewer maintenance, utility hole repairs and inside-of-roof work should be placed behind a site permit.

A few points to include:

  • Have managers or superior staff been made aware of the activity to be undertaken?
  • Has the confined space been examined and found to be safe?
  • Are contractors certified or able to undertake the required task within a confined space?

Site permits block under-qualified construction team members from entering confined spaces and are a surefire way to prevent injury.

The Takeaway

As is visible above, it’s easy to see that several different site permits will significantly help your business in keeping employees safe and also to comply with local workplace health and safety regulations.

To add to the compliance and safety, employees and contractors who have been required to fill out a permit will have had a refresher on safety. In answering the questions outlined on the permit, they’ll be better able to recall the correct precautions or emergency procedures if needed.

Without a doubt, site permits are some of the most effective ways to improve workplace safety, and with platforms like Sine, they’re more accessible than ever to staff members integral to your workflows.

Safer, smarter workplaces start with Sine

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