IA6.3 Explain the development, main features and operation of safe systems of work and permit-to-work systems.

Element IA6: Risk control

5.1 Unit IA: Managing health and safety

Aim of the unit

This unit provides learners with a thorough grounding in all major aspects of managing health and safety. It aims to prepare learners for a career in health and safety by providing them with the ability to apply their knowledge and understanding of health and safety management issues in the workplace. In addition, this knowledge and understanding prepares learners for the written question paper assessment in Unit IA and the practical application (Unit DNI) which will be carried out in their own workplace.

Learning outcomes

IA6.1 Explain the use of common risk management strategies

IA6.2 Outline factors to be taken into account when selecting risk controls

IA6.3 Explain the development, main features and operation of safe systems of work and permit-to-work systems.


IA6.1 Common risk management strategies

• The concepts of avoidance, reduction, transfer and retention with/without knowledge within a health and safety management system with relevant examples (eg, redesign of tasks, automation of process, insurance policies, use of specialist contractors)

• Circumstances when each of the above strategies would be appropriate

• Factors to be considered in the selection of an optimum solution based on relevant risk data

• The principles and benefits of risk management in a global perspective

• The link between the outcomes of risk assessments and the development of risk controls. • Preventative and protective measures (with reference to ILO OSH 2001)

• Determine the technical/procedural/behavioural control measures required using the general hierarchy of control (with reference to ISO 45001):

IA6.2 Factors to be taken into account when selecting risk controls

- elimination (technical)

- substitution (technical / procedural)

- engineering controls (technical / behavioural)

- signage/warnings and/or administrative controls (procedural / behavioural)

- personal protective equipment (technical / behavioural)

(Note: technical to include design, fencing, ventilation etc; procedural to include safe systems of work, permit-to-work, maintenance regime etc; behavioural to include information and training)

• Factors affecting the choice of control measures – long term/short term, applicability, practicability, cost, proportionality, effectiveness of control, legal requirements and associated standards, the competence of workers and training needs relevant to preferred controls.

IA6.3 Safe systems of work and permit-to-work systems

• Safe systems of work: meaning; legal and practical requirements; components (people, equipment, materials, environment); development and implementation

• Permit-to-work systems – essential features, general application, operation and monitoring

• The use of risk assessment in the development of safe systems of work and safe operating procedures.

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