Safety Consultant
Raghuvaran Chakkaravarthy
Environmental, Health And Safety
+1 Other

Hi All
I am Working as a safety officer in shipbuilding company. Since we are constructing big vessels height work and hot work is a regular activity. I tried to make work permits for this activity but its not working since i am the only safety officer and signing all the permits is not possible. which are the permits generally use in shipbuilding?? and how to implement it if there is only one safety officer?????

From India, Mormugao
Dear aqua,

Shipyard Employment (29 CFR 1915)

1915 Subpart P, Fire protection in shipyard employment

1915.501, General provisions

1915.502, Fire safety plan

1915.503, Precautions for hot work

1915.504, Fire watches

1915.505, Fire response

1915.506, Hazards of fixed extinguishing systems on board vessels and vessel sections

1915.507, Land-side fire protection systems

1915.508, Training

1915.509, Definitions applicable to this subpart

Appendix A, Model fire safety plan (Non-mandatory)

Above mentioned OSHA regulation for shipyard/Shipbuilding i don't have any experience in shipyard field but as per my knowledge;

Permit-to-work systems;


A permit-to-work system is a formal written system used to control certain types of work that are potentially hazardous. A permit-to-work is a document which specifies the work to be done and the precautions to be taken. Permits-to-work form an essential part of safe systems of work for many maintenance activities. They allow work to start only after safe procedures have been defined and they provide a clear record that all foreseeable hazards have been considered.

A permit is needed when maintenance work can only be carried out if normal safeguards are dropped or when new hazards are introduced by the work. Examples are, entry into vessels, hot work and pipeline breaking.


Don't assume that your system is a good one just because you have not yet had a serious accident. You should critically review your system and ask yourself the following questions.


Is the permit-to-work system fully documented, laying down:

how the system works;

the jobs it is to be used for;

the responsibilities and training of those involved; and

how to check its operation?

Is there clear identification of who may authorise particular jobs (and any limits to their authority)?

Is there clear identification of who is responsible for specifying the necessary precautions (eg isolation, emergency arrangements, etc)?

Is the permit form clearly laid out?

Does it avoid statements or questions which could be ambiguous or misleading?

Is it designed to allow for use in unusual circumstances?

Does it cover contractors?

Selection and training

Are those who issue permits sufficiently knowledgeable concerning the hazards and precautions associated with the plant and proposed work? Do they have the imagination and experience to ask enough 'what if' questions to enable them to identify all potential hazards?

Do staff and contractors fully understand the importance of the permit-to-work system and are they trained in its use?

Description of the work

Does the permit clearly identify the work to be done and the associated hazards?

Can plans and diagrams be used to assist in the description of the work to be done, its location and limitations?

Is the plant adequately identified, eg by discrete number or tag to assist issuers and users in correctly taking out and following permits?

Is a detailed work method statement given for more complicated tasks?

Hazards and precautions

Does the system require the removal of hazards and, where this is not reasonably practicable, effective control? Are the requirements of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994 (COSHH) and other relevant legislation known and followed by those who issue the permits?

Does the permit state the precautions that have been taken and those that are needed while work is in progress? For instance, are isolations specified and is it clear what personal protective equipment should be used?

Do the precautions cover residual hazards and those that might be introduced by the work, eg welding fume and vapour from cleaning solvents?


Does the permit contain clear rules about how the job should be controlled or abandoned in the case of an emergency?

Does the permit have a hand-back procedure incorporating statements that the maintenance work has finished and that the plant has been returned to production staff in a safe state?

Are time limitations included and is shift changeover dealt with?

Are there clear procedures to be followed if work has to be suspended for any reason?

Is there a system of cross-referencing when two or more jobs subject to permits may affect each other?

Is the permit displayed at the job?

Are jobs checked regularly to make sure that the relevant permit-to-work system is still relevant and working properly?


The permit-to-work form must help communication between everyone involved. It should be designed by the company issuing the permit, taking into account individual site conditions and requirements. Separate permit forms may be required for different tasks, such as hot work and entry into confined spaces, so that sufficient emphasis can be given to the particular hazards present and precautions required.

The essential elements of a permit-to-work form are listed in the diagram. If your permit does not cover these it is unlikely to be fully achieving its purpose.

Note; As you mentioned your only one safety officer in your shipbuilding if u can't give permits to all work means let's explain to ur management ''Prevention is better than cure''.

I am also waiting for seniors reply on this thread. . .

Hope you will get perfect solution through our members. . .

From United States, Fpo
Dear Raghu,
Thanks for your valuable information. I have implemented work permit systems in my earlier company. It was sponge iron company and height work , hot work, confined space entry was not a part of regular activity and that is why i have successfully managed it. in shipbuilding the case is different. in fact the hazards in shipbuilding is different from ship repair. in ship repair hot work, height work, confined space entry permit is a must requirement since the vessel is loaded but in shipbuilding we are constructing new ships so the hazards are equal to any construction site. Entering into confined space, hot work, height work is a regular practice. my question is in shipbuilding are these permits are issued for every hot work, height work, and confined space entry. Did safety officer is involve in all these activities. and if there is only one safety officer then how to manage it?????
I hope all the members actively participate in this discussion,
Yours in safety,

From India, Mormugao
Dear Mr. Aqua
Warm welcome to citehr EHS forum... Hope you will feel the difference here and enjoy the learnings/sharings from this website...
We have already done a detailed discussion on Work Permit in this forum... Go through the below link and read each post carefully... I am sure your query will be getting solved...
Still any doubt on the topic, come with the same, let's hope any of our member will help in resolving...
Dear Raghu: Good work and keep on sharing...

From India
Dear dipil

Thanks for your valuable information. i am regularly reading all the posts of this site from the past one year. This site helped me lot in making safety procedures and documentations. i have gone through above link but still i have some doubts.

1. For painting and blasting work of shipbuilding which permit to be used any format and procedure then please attache.

2. is it necessary to take hot work permit for every hot work of ship or we should assign specific location only were hot work permit needs to be taken. because when we are constructing blocks of ship level of fire hazard is less and amount of hot work is more. once the hull work is complete and machinery and fuel starts going into the ship level of fire hazards increases.

3. in confined space entry if it is a repair ship then testing for gas and purging activity comes what about when fabricating new tanks and blocks. because when we are constructing ship in one block/tank many department will work like piping, hull, outfitting,accommodation, engineering etc. for that also confined space entry permit requires.

4. what about height work permit in shipbuilding if anyone working in shipbuilding have height work permit implemented then please attache the procedure and form.

Anyone working in shipbuilding have work permit procedure of shipbuilding industry then please attache. it will really help.

Yours in safety,


From India, Mormugao
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