Electronic Permits to Work: complying with new WSH regulations in Singapore

by | Feb 21, 2024 | Article

Ensuring workplace safety and health (WSH) is a top priority in Singapore, governed by stringent regulations enforced by the Ministry of Manpower. The latest updates to WSH regulations emphasise the critical role of electronic permits to work (ePTWs) in enhancing safety measures, streamlining processes, and ensuring compliance.

What are the new WSH regulations for Electronic Permits to Work?

Main contractors are required to adopt an Electronic Permit to Work System (ePTW) to enhance safety and raise productivity on site for public sector construction and construction-related projects with a value of S$3 million or more. The implementation of ePTWs aligns with the requirements of the WSH Act, which mandates stringent safety and health standards across workplaces in Singapore. A circular published in February 2024 provides detailed specifications, broken down into 21 points, including general requirements, system performance, record retrieval, and training.

Novade complies with WSH specifications on ePTWs

Novade is the leading supplier for construction software in Asia. In Singapore, Novade is adopted by key public agencies, and 70% of A1 contractors use Novade to manage their permits to work. Novade’s ePTW system provides a robust platform to manage occupational safety and health protocols effectively. The following chapter covers how Novade fully complies with these specifications, ensuring safety and efficiency in line with the new WSH regulations.

General requirements compliance

  1. Digital Process: The Novade application is designed to generate, submit, and process paperless permits to work (PTWs).
  2. Right Information: Novade PTWs include the date, time, requester, assessor, approver, work location, description, pictures, and checkboxes for questions and answers.
  3. Location: The system has the ability to pinpoint and capture the location of the mobile device used and demonstrate that the creation, submission, and approval of the PTW are done on site.
  4. Workflow Automation: Novade allows configuration of the system to manage any workflow and automate processes to record and acknowledge observations, verify, submit, revoke, or close the ePTW. This can be done from any mobile device, ensuring that steps cannot be skipped.
  5. Authentication: Only authorised persons can assess and approve the permit to work. Authentication mechanisms are in place to prevent falsification.
  6. Data Capture: Any field data can be captured, including text, date, multiple photos, and comments. All data is time-stamped, and all records can be audited for investigation purposes.
  7. Documents: Site drawings, photos, and supporting documents can be attached to the ePTW form and electronically routed to the authorised person via their mobile devices. Notifications are sent to the authorised person once the form is submitted for their assessment and approval of the ePTW.
  8. Expiry: A deadline can be set for the permit expiry. The system can trigger automated alerts to relevant supervisors to follow up on cases close to expiry according to the pre-set workflow.
  9. Revoke: An authorised person can revoke an issued permit to work if the work is unsafe to proceed or poses a risk to the safety, health, and welfare of persons at work.
  10. Real-Time Monitoring: The status of permits to work can be monitored anytime from mobile devices.
  11. Dashboard: Web-based dashboards show live permits, closed permits, and permits under review.
  12. Identification: Each ePTW has its own unique identification number.
  13. Language: The default language of the ePTW is English.

System performance, record retrieval and training compliance

  1. Universal Access: The Novade application is available on all major mobile devices powered by Android or iOS, and the application is frequently updated to keep up with mobile system upgrades. The Novade web interface is compatible with the most common browsers available in the market.
  2. Offline Mode: The Novade application works in both online and offline modes. The data is synchronised in real time once a live connection is established.
  3. Records: Digital permit records are available anytime and can easily be shared during audits or on-site inspections.
  4. PDF Export: The digital ePTW can easily be converted to PDF format, printed, and used as a hard copy reference if required.
  5. Excel Export: The ePTW data can be downloaded in a structured form in MS Excel to aid statistical analysis.
  6. Archival: All records are archived on cloud servers and maintained as long as the Novade subscription is active. Clients can also export all PTW PDFs and store them in their own IT systems to comply with the requirement to keep the records for a minimum of five years from the creation date.
  7. Reliability: Once a permit to work is closed, it cannot be modified.
  8. Ease of Use & Support: The Novade application is very popular because it is easy to use in the field. In addition, Novade provides comprehensive guidance and support to ensure that the system is well set up and meets companies’ and project-specific requirements.

Overall, Novade’s electronic permits to work solution fully complies with Singapore’s new WSH regulations.

Getting started with digital permits to work

While adopting digital permits to work is now compulsory on some projects to comply with the Safety and Health Act, companies should look beyond compliance and use this as an opportunity to embrace technology and enhance safe work practices on their sites.

We understand that adopting digital solutions on a construction site is not always easy. However, we know it can be done. Our system has been used around the world for more than 10 years, and every month, millions of processes are managed with the Novade application. Our teams are here to provide guidance, expertise, and support in your digital journey. If you are an SME, you may qualify for a PSG grant. Please contact us find out.

About Joel Ong

About Joel Ong

Joel Ong is Singapore country manager at Novade. Joel has more than a decade of experience working with companies in the construction sector and he is recognised as an authority in digital solutions implementation in Singapore.

About Novade

About Novade

Novade is the market leader for the digitisation of safety field processes. Every day, clients around the world rely on Novade applications to manage the submission, approval, monitoring, and analysis of millions of digital permits to work.
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