Woodside undertook a major project to develop an Electronic Work Permit to standardize its permit to work processes, risk assessment, and isolation management as part of its ongoing program to improve the safety of its workers.

Prior to implementation, Woodside faced a number of issues including:

  • More than 60% of incidents had permit-related causal factors.
  • Heavy reliance on written permit procedures – approximately 5,000 pages.
  • Personnel moving between company sites had to learn and apply site. specific interpretations of procedures.
  • Inconsistent interpretation and application of procedures.
  • Over-use of permits resulting in excessive administration to the detriment of work control.
  • Ineffective learning of lessons across the organization.

Woodside recognized that an electronic permit could harness the power of computer technology to ensure that business rules around permit to work, certificates, hazard i.d., risk assessment, and isolation management were applied consistently. Woodside decided to develop a purpose built system that was flexible enough to meet stringent requirements and Australian regulations.

Woodside rolled out its PTW (Permit to Work) program to move more than 4,000 users across its offshore and onshore oil and gas production facilities and achieved significant improvements including:

  • System documentation reduced by 98% (from 5,000 pages to 100 pages)
  • Significant efficiency gains (e.g. isolation scheme preparation time reduced from six hours to 15 minutes)
  • Permit related incidents have fallen from more than 60% of total incidents to fewer than 20%
  • Increased security of isolation schemes, permit hierarchy and work control
  • Greater hazard awareness among the workforce, and an ability to share lessons learned rapidly between facilities