Industrial Permit to Work process and software prove to be useful in complex facility management

Within the construction industry and facility management there is an ongoing awareness process with regard to safety. There is an increasing need for regulation and a cultural shift in the way people work. With a growing number of high tech processes certain buildings require specific forms of management. For example due to the use of hazardous substances or different requirements concerning hygiene. This is one area where the chemical industry is years ahead and can be a source of inspiration. iB&X has taken the first steps in supporting parties in the construction industry and facility management and introduced the electronic work permits. More and more parties are using the know-how, software and distinguishing implementation philosophy. The ambitious Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam choose for the implementation of a Permit to Work process and software that are used in many chemical plants worldwide for more than 15 years now.

4,000

preventive maintenance jobs

14,000

disturbances annualy

Specific safety requirements

At the Facility Management Department of the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam they have been working with PermitCliq, iB&X' electronic work permit system, for half a year now. In terms of facility management the hospital is a party where work has to meet specific requirements due to a vulnerable group of patients, a large flow of visitors and several thousand students in the various buildings that make up the hospital. With 14,000 disturbances and 4,000 preventive maintenance orders per year, there was every reason to start working with electronic work permits. Anita van der Marel, Facility Management Staff Consultant at The Erasmus MC: “We want clarity for our customers, the departments within the hospital, so they are not faced with maintenance unprepared. We also need an overview of the operations, if we wish to avoid that activities are being carried out simultaneously that could interfere with one another, and we want companies working for us here to comply with all the specific safety requirements that are necessary in a hospital such as this.

Joint coordination and implementation

The Erasmus MC found a partner in iB&X who did not only supply a software package, but with whom they could also take up implementation, training and support. Jan van Velzen, Facility Management Unit Head: “We were looking for a partnership in which we could jointly make the system and best practice work for our specific situation.

With a roadmap, involving the people who have to work with the system, and on the job training by iB&X, we also tackled the implementation thoroughly, so much resistance was removed. We are now all on the right track and the first tentative results are visible.” Thanks to iB&X's years of experience in the industry the Erasmus MC was able to find inspiration with its customers on site and translate it into their own situation. "Thus a safety booklet we worked with is now replaced by a gate instruction and we are now working, like in proper industry, with a fixed issuing desk which created a central point with an overview." says Van Velzen.

Overview at a glance

Van der Marel: "Our customers are very happy with the new method of working. They are experiencing more clarity and are no longer taken by surprise by the work activities. Also the number of work permits soared. "Since September last year 1,100 permits were issued, compared to an average of 400 per year in the past. The number of activities has not changed, but we gained a lot more insight.” Van Velzen adds that more overview has been created. "On the map of all our buildings you can see at a glance what is happening, so dangerous situations are avoided. And we are going into the field. We now see that people actually have a license on them and find it pleasant to meet us on the shop floor.”

"With this solution, we have insight in the causes and we are becoming a learning organization"

Safety, Efficiency and Cost Savings

Van der Marel sees significant changes thanks to the new method. "People think before they act, they talk more about safety and there is momentum. That improves safety, not only for the engineers themselves, but also for the patients, staff and visitors. We want to foster communication and thus safety and efficiency. Of course there are still incidents, but with this solution, we have insight in the causes and we are becoming a learning organization.”

Ultimately, it is a cultural shift what it's all about. A cultural shift which according to van Velzen is sorely needed. "I think many hospitals are currently searching when it comes to facility management. If we want to make progress in safety, efficiency and cost savings, digital work permits are the answer. It is clear at a glance what activities are carried out, and where and how everything is done. Our facility management is thus more customer-friendly, safer and cost efficient. Results we are proud of!”

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