Safety on Board with Pisys PTW and the Isolations Module at Oil & Gas Company

Image of the Sea

Case Study: This global oil and gas company uses Pisys PTW on 7 of their vessels to manage Permits to Work and Isolations while out at sea. The software is installed on a server on board of each vessel and is accessed via the vessel’s WiFi network.

The Challenge: Overcoming Legacy Systems while Retaining Company Processes

This company had undergone a merger and was left with two legacy permit systems – one a complex ISSOW software, one an admin-intensive paper system.

Having reviewed both systems, management at the company’s UK sites concluded that neither system gave them exactly what they wanted. They decided to start afresh.

The challenge was:

  • to find a permit system which would be easily introduced to all, regardless of legacy system.
  • to keep the company’s tried and tested permit process of approvals, suspensions and daily re-issues.
  • to manage permits when out at sea and without access to phone or WiFi signal.

Further requirements were to:

  • incorporate Isolations Management as part of the permit process,
  • improve management of concurrent jobs and facilitate communications between the different teams on board of a large vessels, and
  • to comply with UK HSE regulations and guidance.

The Solution: Self-Hosting Pisys PTW - A Simple System with Extended Functionality

This customer already knew and trusted Pisys but had not realized that we offered a software solution for PTW. When we approached them as part of an advertising campaign, they were keen to explore more.

What convinced them was the simplicity of Pisys PTW, which is modelled on already familiar processes and the paper systems commonly used in large organisations - including a virtual permit board and plot plans which show the location of permit. The software has the additional advantage of better control over complex workflows and visibility of permit information from any computer – meaning that personnel do not need to visit the project office just to look at the permit board and plot plans.

To overcome the issue of connectivity with mobile networks while out at sea, it was decided that the best solution would be to self-host the system on servers on board of their vessels instead of using the cloud version. All access to the system is via the vessel’s local WiFi network, and computers/laptops in offices, as well as intrinsically safe tablets can be used.

Developing Workflow Functionality and the Isolations Module

Some functionality was missing from Pisys PTW, though, as was the capability to manage isolations.

Pisys developers worked with the company’s Fleet Operations and HSE teams to:

  • further develop the software’s workflow capabilities, which would accommodate existing permit workflows, including multi-level approvals, the daily re-validate process, as well as permit suspensions and re-issues. This ensured that the switch to Pisys PTW was easy for personnel, as they were already familiar with the PTW process
  • develop the PTW Isolations Module.

This module includes isolations management within the PTW software, covering creation and multi-step approval of isolations, a long-term isolation register, a link between isolations and permits, and a visual representation of isolations on the existing permit plot plans.

Customisation to Tailor the System

Once the software was capable of handling the more complex workflows required, the customer’s team – with the help of Pisys – set out to customise the permit creation forms, using their existing permit questions as a template, and including forms for Hot Work, High Voltage, Confined Space Entry, Working at Height/Over Side and Complex Lifts.

The Pisys Tech team added the ship’s plot plans – one for each deck, with an option to show them all, or select a single deck for display from a dropdown menu.

Successful Roll-Out

The Company’s senior Operations and HSE Management introduced key personnel to the Pisys PTW software during their annual offshore seminars using a slides provided by Pisys as part of the service . Personnel were excited.

The system was installed by the company’s own IT team on the dedicated servers, and rolled out on one vessel initially, with more of the vessels phased in gradually.

During the entire process, Pisys was there for support – and as the company’s key personnel grew in confidence using the software, they became apt at handling queries and changing permit questions themselves.

The Results: Pisys PTW Unites All

The new system is a success:

  • There is a consolidated Permit to Work Process including Isolations Management, which has allowed company personnel to move on from legacy systems and work with a software that unites them all.
  • The system is simple to use and simple to look after, and it fits in with the company’s way of working.
  • Vessels can use the system regardless of their location.
  • Concurrent jobs are clearly visible on the Permit Board and Plot Plans and can therefore be managed better.
  • Management and staff on board save time and work safer, because they can see permit information from anywhere.

Looking Ahead: ‘Offline Mode’, ‘Risk Manager’ and More Vessels

  • PTW is working so well for this customer that they are planning to introduce the software on more of their vessels and also in onshore offices.
  • The company have commissioned an ‘off-line mode’, which is already under development: vessels will self-host the permit systems – but they will be linked to a central system which combines all vessels and offices. When a vessel comes back into range, the permit information synchs with central system, allowing onshore management to get a fleet-wide overview of ongoing work everywhere.
  • The customer is also interested in the development of a Risk Manager and talks between Pisys and companies within the offshore/shipping industries have started.

Find out more about Pisys PTW  by visiting our Permit to Work page.

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