The role of supervisors, overseers and other administrative staff in ensuring safe working conditions on any job site, let alone high-risk sites such as roofs, cannot be overstated. In fact, certain legal restrictions have been put in place to help guarantee that the highest of safety standards are followed while working in areas where the risk of falling more than 3 meters exists. The penalty for not following the legal guidelines can be severe, including heavy fines, withdrawal of permits from the company or even jail time. However, the greatest risk involved in not following the proper procedures during rooftop projects is the human cost involved in any accident. It is critical, therefore, that the administrative controls be followed as they are in the best interest of both the company and the workers.
Applying for a Permit to Work in Singapore
There are two main administrative resources to increase the safety levels of any work at heights job location. The first of these is what is called the Permit-To-Work (PTW)system. This system requires the company to apply for a permit before starting their project. A local government official known as the Safety Assessor (SA) is responsible for issuing this permit, but only after performing a careful inspection of the work site to ensure that all safety measures required for the permit are in place. This inspection takes place with the supervisor of the job, thus enabling the SA to raise any doubts or concerns in real time. Only when the SA is fully confident that all required safety precautions have been taken will the permit be issued, allowing the work to take place. Failure to meet any of the conditions will result in a delay of the permit being issued. Only when an inspection is 100% will the work be allowed. Since the inspection has to be perfect, applications for a PTW should not be submitted until the site is considered completely prepared. This is not only the case with first-time permits, but it is also the case for extensions of existing permits. PTWs are only issued for a duration of 7 days. Thus, any work that requires a PTW, but which cannot be performed within 7 days, will require additional PTWs to extend the period of time until the project is completed. Each extension application will be treated as a first time application, meaning that the inspection will be conducted with scrutiny each and every time. Failure to meet the inspection’s requirements will result in delays in work, resulting in extended wages and equipment costs as well as the overall loss of time. Therefore it is critical to meet the requirements completely on every inspection.
Implementing Safe Work Procedure
The second administrative resource for ensuring safety on a high construction location is what is known as Safe Work Procedure (SWP). These are strictly internal, requiring no outside oversight or permissions. In short, the SWP of a company is gathered together and presented as part of Risk Assessment. These will include but are not limited to ensuring the proper inspection of sites for hazards, the proper issuance and use of PPE, placement of warning signs around any known danger areas, and the placement of safety equipment such as handrails, safety nets and the like. In short, the SWP is the basis of the safety standards that will guarantee that any risk of fall or injury due to high-level working conditions are reduced to an absolute minimum. While the SWP is not the same as the PTW, the fact is that they operate hand in hand. Unless effective SWP is in place, there will be no chance in acquiring any permits for any type of project.
Maintaining daily inspections
Daily inspections are required for maintaining a PTW for the duration of the job, or until the PTW expires. Likewise, daily inspections are necessary to ensure that all SWP are in place and achieving the desired results. While inspecting the same site day in and day out may seem to be a waste of time and resources, the simple truth is that when these inspections are skipped or ran through in a careless manner, accidents are almost guaranteed to take place. The significance of these inspections, therefore, is beyond measure. When done right, accidents and injuries are kept to an absolute minimum, meaning that workers are effectively protected from any unnecessary danger. Additionally, financial losses are kept to a minimum as well. Effective inspections can discover the potential for problems just before they occur. Equipment that is worn or damaged can be repaired or replaced before any serious incident causes harm to a person or the site in general. The money saved by preventing accidents more than makes up for the time and money spent on the inspections themselves.
Of all of the assets your company possesses, none is more valuable than your workers. Therefore, reducing the risk of accident and injury to your workers should be your number one priority! The sooner you apply the information in this page, the sooner you will be able to create a safer work environment for you and your crew. You may also be interested in several measures to increase the safety of your crew immediately and without significant investment.