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  • Permit to work

    Hi Could somebody explain the permit to work system to me please. As in what jobs it should be used for?
    Is it a pretty everyday thing or is it just for particularly dangerous jobs. the reason I'm asking is that i've been on board for 7 weeks now and i've not heard anyone mention permit to work.

  • #2
    Re: Permit to work

    PTW is a bit of a thorney issue......and upto a point it is company specific BUT one place to look is the Code of Safeworking Practice issued by the MCA, some jobs that MUST have PTW's are enclosed space entries (tanks, void spaces, slow speed engine crankcase / scavenge space, other areas that are not frequently visited and have some risk factor, CO2 bulk room....this is not an extensive list but gives you an idea), working aloft (changing bulbs on main mast etc), working overside, bunkering, sludge ops oooooo all sorts

    Some company SMS's also want PTW's for overhauling machinery, like Purifiers, Air Compressors, Engines (of any sort), basically anything that is not "normal" but the deffination of "normal" can be a bit hit and miss, however it isnt meant to cover "Duty Days" etc.

    Also you should be reading or seeing Risk Assesements (or Safe Job Analaysis for certain cadets) pretty much EVERY JOB / Event on board should have some sort of RA/ SJA attached to it BUT may not require a PTW HOWEVER if you need a PTW there really really really should be a, RA to go with it, possibley even attached to it.

    It might be you havent seen them for some reason but there should be some knocking about, as I say read Coswop for better / proper guidance (as I'm on leave I can find the reference to had, but one of those on ship might know which chapter to look up!)
    Trust me I'm a Chief.

    Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
    Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
    No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


    Twitter:- @DeeChief

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    • #3
      Re: Permit to work

      Chapter 16 You can download an electronic (PDF) copy of it from the MCA's web site, for those that are interested in such things.
      ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

      ? Mark Twain
      myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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      • #4
        Re: Permit to work

        Chiefy pretty much explained it for you there, ( perhaps its cause hes a chief? ) but if your sailing with a foreign crew, some of them cut corners with the PTW system, if your ever sent to do a job in an enclosed area or a-loft, dont take it without a PTW being completed! its for your own safety
        Life at sea is a life for me

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        • #5
          Re: Permit to work

          Ok Thanks guys i'll have a look at coswop.

          I'm with a foreign crew but they seem reasonably safety concious, i just didnt really know if it was something that should be used everyday or just for certain jobs.

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          • #6
            Re: Permit to work

            Chiefy hit the nail on the head. Welcome to the world of paperwork.

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            • #7
              Re: Permit to work

              If you ever feel that they are asking you to do something that isn't safe or you believe it not to be safe then ask for safety gear or refuse to do it.

              For example, if they ask you to go climb up the mast without a harness or leaving the radars on as your doing it, then ask for the safety gear and radars to be switched off. Dont do it until it has been done so and if they refuse to do that then dont do it. Safety starts with you! They cannot throw you off the vessel off the vessel for it because it can be considered an illegal order and the company would probably give them a major bollocking and/or replace them for doing so (Believe me, i've seen it done).

              PTW covers a whole range of things: -
              Enclosed Space Entry - this is anywhere that does not have a constant air flow, e.g. Pump rooms, tanks and on some vessels it can even be certain parts of the deck.

              Working aloft / over the side - anywhere where you have to climb above 2 meters, so masts, the side, etc

              Hot work - this is when welding or any other work requiring a welding torch is performed outside of the workshop. So it can mean the Engine room, accommodation, deck, etc.

              Electrical Lines - normally just for sparky's and its when they are working on major electrical systems like the switchboard, etc.

              High Pressure lines - My previous company had these.

              Dont always expect your crew to be 100% safety concious, it starts with you and if you ever feel something isn't safe then say so! If they get annoyed with you for asking then tough **** to them....
              I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

              All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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              • #8
                Re: Permit to work

                Ok thanks for replying well it seems to me that most of crew on here are pretty safety concious and always use PPE safety harnesses etc just it seems that they dont always seem to do the paper work to back it up.

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                • #9
                  Re: Permit to work

                  Be aware of the following:-
                  The permit to work system can be good, but equally it can be bad, especially when company safety management sytems are essentially "padded out" for the purpose of making them look good.
                  {(They do that you know (some companies, 2 many in all probability) - just to impress the Authorities, to make themselves look good on paper - nothing to do with safety at all}
                  Such systems are downright dangerous and do nothing to enhance safety - they become wide open to abuse and invariably are.
                  The simpler straightforward systems, without the "padding" are invariably the best.
                  When it comes to enclosed spaces - I would advise you pay minimal attention to what any permit indicates you can do, - always do all the checks for yourself before entering - don't rely on any piece of paper.
                  If you do not know how to do all the necessary checking - then I suggest you make it an absolute top priority to learn it thoroughly - and fast.
                  The same goes for hotwork .
                  It's the only way to be safe, and besides, you owe it to yourself.
                  To you from failing hands we throw - The Torch;
                  Be yours to hold it high.
                  If ye break faith with us of old,
                  We shall not sleep,
                  nor shall you either !!!

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