The term ‘blanket permit’ is rather vague and might be understood to mean a permit with no time limitation, a permit without a clearly defined scope of work that covers any work that might be required on the site, or both.

The short answer to the question is ‘No’.

The WPTW System does not support the issuing of ‘blanket permits’.

The issuing of blanket permits does not fulfill the legal duty of care to not expose personnel to risks to their health and safety because, in using such a blanket permit approach, there is no evidence that any effort is made to identify the specific risks associated with the actual work being done, assess, and manage those risks, or to establish a safe working environment before the commencement of work.

The opening statement in the WPTW Handbook (Section 1.1 Purpose) states: “The WPTW System is a work planning and control system for the review and authorisation of work on Australian and other onshore wellsites. … (it provides) … a means of communicating and authorising a designated Scope of Work and the limitations of that authorisation in terms of the nature, location, extent and duration of the work”. Therefore, each Permit must have a clearly defined Scope of Work.

In addition, a Permit must also have a clearly defined duration (i.e. Issue and Expiry Time). The WPTW Handbook, Section 5.2 states: “A permit is valid only for the remainder of the shift of the WPH to whom it was issued or a nominated expiry time, whichever is earliest“.

WPTW uses a ‘risk based’ approach to the need for issuing of permits. Where an activity is being routinely conducted and controlled to a Low Risk, consideration should be given to the development of a Standard Operating Procedure for that activity, which includes all identified risks and control measures. At the WPA’s discretion, that work can then be conducted under an SOP, rather than a permit.

More information

For information about when a Permit is required, refer to the WPTW Handbook, go to our FAQ page, contact us on 1800 078 939, or email us admin@wellsite.org.au