environmental

What is Control of Work?

Control of Work. Thank God, this does not refer to when a foreperson stands on a walkway, yelling to employees below, micromanaging, en masse. 

It’s another element of risk management that keeps everyone in a facility safe, by not allowing contractors who lack any of the proper credentials onto your site for a job. 

What is Control of Work? 

Control of Work is a system of safety management that acts as a gate for your workplace, ensuring that hazardous job tasks, such as confined space entry or “hot work” like welding and brazing, don’t take place unless and until you’ve reviewed and authorized them. Control of Work is a critical component of managing operational risk at every level of the organization, needed whenever specifically defined hazardous tasks are performed or a contractor has been hired to work on-site. 

Although Control of Work should be applied to all employees completing hazardous tasks – even regular employees – it helps you confirm that all visitors, including temporary and contracted workers, entering your facility are properly vetted, trained and approved for the job they were hired for. With 4-5 times more accidents occurring involving contractors, Control of Work in relation to contractor management is especially important to get right. 

What is a Control of Work process? 

Given that Control of Work is about verifying permits to work and contractor requirements, it’s easy to guess that a Control of Work process is the series of steps that do the verifying.  

Developing an efficient process around Control of Work and compliance can seem pretty laborious — but without it, your organization is at serious risk. And luckily, there are software systems you can use to do this work for you, so that you can use your time engaging with your employees instead of tracking permits. 

What is a permit to work? What is the purpose of a permit-to-work system?  

A permit-to-work system falls under the Control of Work umbrella. A permit to work is the literal document that says someone has the qualifications to carry out a specific task. Permits are what the Control of Work system verifies to ensure that contractors (and traditional employees) will be able to accomplish the job they were hired for safely.  

The most common permits are general, but there are specific permits for various working conditions like hot work permits or working at height permits. Permits include information like the task to be completed, who will be completing it, the tools and personal protection equipment (PPE) needed, precautions to take when working on the task, and an official authorization for work to begin on the task.  

How does Control of Work improve workplace safety? 

It makes sure that Jo Schmo isn’t hired for a job that she doesn’t know how to complete safely. With a proper Control of Work process, Jo wouldn’t have been in the running for the contracted position at all. 

There are many examples of horrible accidents that have occurred when contractors lacking the proper permits are brought on for a job. With Control of Work, you can check contractors’ permits before you hire them, so that only people who can safely accomplish a task step foot on site.  

How can VelocityEHS help?  

VelocityEHS Control of Work makes it easy to confirm that work requiring special permits is completed in a safe and compliant manner, and that no unqualified contractors are working on site. Our cloud solution gives you the tools to protect your employees and reduce risk, while increasing visibility for stakeholders. It includes permit-to-work, contractor management, visitor management, and additional tools for ensuring onsite visitors have been properly vetted, trained, and approved. Safe, productive, and efficient onsite work begins with the proper oversight and authorization of every person that comes through your gate. 

Blog, Process Safety Management, Risk Management, Safety