Safe systems of work principles for the power generation sector

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  • Published: April 2024
  • REF/ISBN: 978 1 78725 419 0
  • Edition: 1st
  • Status: Current

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A safe system of work (SSoW) is a set of procedures to ensure that work can be carried out safely. For example, it sets out a process that ensures work to be carried out is defined, risks are assessed, hazards are eliminated or isolated where possible, equipment is identified, authorisation is given for work, work is done by authorised persons, and that the equipment is safely reinstated following completion of the work.

Following the privatisation of the energy sector in the UK, operating companies’ SSoW processes have diverged, and it is not uncommon for several SSoW processes to be followed within a single company, often reflecting different parts of the business (e.g. renewables versus non-renewables).

This document was created to provide a standardised set of SSoW principles that can be used to benchmark, or align, company-specific SSoW systems with.

The document provides:

  • an example SSoW policy for a company (‘XXXX company’) to adopt;
  • a SSoW philosophy that a company can adopt;
  • a set of high level principles;
  • general provisions to ensure the SSoW principles are complied with;
  • instructions on applying the SSoW principles to:
    • general workplace safety;
    • high voltage (HV) electrical systems;
    • low voltage (LV) electrical systems;
    • mechanical equipment;
    • operation of equipment;
    • demarcation of work areas, and
    • identification of equipment.
  • instructions on the work control and safety documents to use;
  • instructions on the roles and responsibilities of different persons in the application of the SSoW principles, and
  • definitions of key terms used in this document.

This document has been written to be generic. It therefore uses terminology for the different types of SSoW documentation and person roles that are descriptive of the role they play in the SSoW, and may not reflect the terminology used within companies. This document is also not a training document, meaning that it does not discuss specific hazards such as arc flash, electrocution, or those types of hazards relating to line of fire. It is generic and meant to be used by competent and trained personnel in conjunction with industry- and company- specific documentation on managing specific hazards.

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