PRESS RELEASE: Unite-Permit to Work complies with China National Standard GB 30871-2022

March 24th, 2024, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Unite-X’s Unite-Permit to Work software complies with China Mandatory National Standard GB 30871-2022 safety code of Special work in chemical manufacturers: streamlining compliance and enhancing global safety standards. 

Unite-X, a leading safety solutions provider, claims its flagship product, Unite-Permit to Work software, fully complies with China Mandatory National Standard GB 30871-2022 Safety Code of Special Work in Chemical Manufacturers.

With the slogan “Global standard, local fit,” Unite-X is committed to delivering EHS solutions to roll out corporate global safety standards and meet the specific needs of local regulations. 

About GB 30871-2022 

On March 15, 2022, the National Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China released the “Safety specifications of special work in hazardous chemicals enterprises” – GB 30871-2022. This standard replaced GB 30871-2014 and came into force on October 1, 2022.  

GB 30871-2022 is a mandatory national standard that enterprises must comply with. It stipulates requirements for special work for hazardous chemicals enterprises and templates of safe production work certificates for eight types of special work. 

Hazardous Chemical Safety Standards: EU vs. China 

In the European Union, key directives such as the Seveso III Directive and Directive 89/391/EEC establish rigorous standards for preventing major accidents involving dangerous substances and promoting occupational safety and health across all sectors. 

Similarly, China enforces its GB 30871-2022 standard to ensure safety, quality, and compliance across various industries, including hazardous chemicals enterprises.  

Why is GB Standard Compliance Important for Global Manufacturers? 

Global EHSQ standards are crucial for multinational corporations to prevent incidents, ensure operational continuity, and enhance corporate reputation. 

Manufacturing plants in China must remain compliant with both the GB standard and corporate standards issued overseas.  

Failure to comply with governmental standards can result in penalties and shutdowns, while non-compliance with corporate standards means working against the corporate EHSQ risk reduction practices.  

Moreover, the need to comply with GB standards may block digitalization initiatives, becoming a hurdle on the way towards Operational Safety Excellence. 

Thus, adherence to the GB standard is not only a legal requirement but also a strategic imperative for both local plants and international corporations operating in China. 

About Unite-Permit to Work 

Unite-Permit to Work SaaS software empowers organizations to adopt global permit-to-work standards worldwide and, thus, ensure compliance with local governmental regulations and corporate standards. 

With Unite-Permit to Work, global manufacturing companies ensure a consistently high level of operational efficiency at their locations all over the world while prioritizing workforce safety. 

About GB 30871-2022 in Unite-Permit to Work 

Unite-X, with a focus on helping clients achieve their Operational Safety Excellence ambitions, supports local governmental initiatives. 

The Unite-Permit to Work software includes customizable templates and automated workflows that allow configuration in accordance with GB 30871-2022 Safety Standard.  

It also contains features for real-time permits overview, seamless integration capabilities with global enterprise systems, and comprehensive reporting for global continuous improvement ambitions.  

Customers of Unite-Permit to Work located in China successfully leverage the software in compliance with local governmental regulations.

About Unite-X 

Unite-X provides a cloud-based safety management solution that unifies critical safety processes on one integrated platform. Unite-X supports global enterprises across the processing, chemical, and food industries. The fully configurable solution forms a transparent and compliant safety environment while optimizing key safety procedures by making them lean and risk-free. 

Do you want to discuss your ideas with Operational Safety Excellence experts?

PRESS RELEASE: Unite-X Gets Certified for Data Security

February 17, 2022, Amsterdam Netherlands

Unite-X, Amsterdam, Netherlands, a provider of cloud-based safety management software, announced it has achieved ISAE 3402 Type II certification, the world-class standard for data security and compliance, based on an independent third-party audit.

Unite-X is trusted by many large enterprises globally, including leaders in the processing and chemical industries, to organize, optimize and digitalize their safety processes.

“We commit to maintaining the highest security due to contractual obligations with our customers to protect their information, and global regulations like GDPR and CCPA about processing personal data”, says Dmitrii Malyshev, the CTO at Unite-X who ruled the process of audit.

About ISAE 3402 type 2
ISAE stands for International Standard on Assurance Engagements. ISAE 3402 is an international assurance standard that describes Service Organization Control engagements, which provides assurance to an organization’s customer that the service organization has adequate internal controls.

ISAE 3402 puts more emphasis on procedures for the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of control over data security, including the team education system.

Particularly ISAE 3402 Type II is a type of audit report, that refers to documenting how the process of control is performed over a certain period of time (typically 12 months).

An ISAE 3402 audit certificate includes an audit report performed by independent third-party representatives. The certificate confirms that Unite-X is compliant with the highest standard of internal control over data security and can be regarded as a quality criterion of Unite-X as a service provider.

It also pays for a customer to contract with a service provider that holds an ISAE 3402 certificate: the auditor of the customer can rely on the certificate of the service organization, resulting in a reduced necessary audit budget.

About auditing process
The Unite-X data environment has been developed over several years on a foundation of the highest security principles and has evolved into a mature environment compliant with ISAE 3402 through continuous improvement and employee engagement.

Unite-X was audited and certified during the period between July 2021 and February 2022.

According to Dmitrii Malyshev, “Our system is processing sensitive operational data of the plant, so the highest degree of security and privacy is absolutely critical. Our large enterprise customers, have very stringent IT requirements.”

About Unite-X
Unite-X provides a cloud-based safety management solution that unifies critical safety processes on one integrated platform. Unite-X supports global enterprises across processing, chemical, and food industries, including DSM, Sabic, Cargill, etc. The fully configurable solution forms a transparent, and compliant safety environment while optimizing key safety procedures by making them lean and risk-free.

What should the robust Permit-to-Work process look like?

For years, paper permit-to-work handouts were the main items on safety experts’ desks. However, a massive wave of digitalization and higher standards of efficiency are changing this path. 

Many EHS experts still prefer paper. “It is just bigger,” says one of the Unite-X clients, an EHS leader in a global corporation, unfolding a large sheet of paper with a printed version on it. I immediately see everything I need.”

It is hard to argue that a small-screen tablet provides less space for an overview. However, digital permit-to-work software offers many other benefits that outweigh the print size.

In this article, we investigate the impact of digitalization on the permitting process and how digital permits exceed paper in helping to achieve Operational Safety Excellence.

What is the Permit-to-Work?

Simply put, a permit-to-work system is a formal process for stating exactly what work is to be done, where, and when. Permits authorize workers to perform specific tasks within specific time frames utilizing standard procedures. This way the Permit-to-Work process helps protect the health and safety of frontline workers and the site’s assets and environment.

The permit includes information about required safety precautions, detailed information about how to perform the job, and any critical handover information. The Permit-to-Work process also triggers warnings about potential hazards, prevents errors, helps solve conflicts, and minimizes risk at the plant.

This definition of the Permit-to-Work is mainly related to compliance: ensuring all the jobs are done according to the head SHE office rules and government regulations.

However, the permitting system is much more than just a shield protecting from internal and external audits. Actually, an optimal and effective permitting system can become a pillar of achieving Operational Safety Excellence.

Jobs performed under permits form a core of the plant’s flow. Records of planned, active, and closed permits can tell just as fascinating a story about life on the production site as bills written on papyrus can about life in ancient Egypt.

Permits are vital for communication between site management, plant supervisors and operators, and frontline workers. They contain an enormous amount of data, which, properly grouped, processed, and analyzed, can signal problems and losses, triggering continuous improvements.

With the crucial role of the permitting process in the plant’s life, a non-optimal permitting process can significantly impact the plant’s general efficiency and safety levels.

Paper Permit-to-Work problems

If you walk into a large production site where paper-based security regulation is still in place, it is fascinating to observe their archive. You will most likely see towers of paper on the desks of Safety Department folks and folders with sticky notes indicating the time and date of the documentation.

For audit, this is everything from inconvenience to a real nightmare. Auditors usually pick a random document from those piles. However, getting valuable information about the real situation of plant safety, especially in dynamics, is close to impossible.

However, an audit is only one perspective of the issue. Paper-based Permit-to-Work process often has a bad reputation as a source of frustration for the people who work with it daily because of:

  • Lack of overview for leading people to make decisions
  • Inaccurate or poor information communication
  • Incorrect measures or unclear descriptions caused by incorrect work permits
  • High costs caused by unnecessary waiting times, especially for contractors
  • Mismatches in the execution of processes among the various teams and plants due to unclear rules
  • High risk of people breaching rules caused by unworkable procedures

In our (Unite-X) practice, we saw cases where teams shared the observation that the other team had a different “style” of creating permits, which made communication harder. Instead of solving up-to-date issues, they first needed to translate the permit into the “language” understandable by everyone in the daily meetings.

Hands up here: Simply transferring from paper to an electronic permitting system does not immediately solve these issues. The solutions lie mainly in proper process design. Let’s take a look at how the process should be built to move closer to Operational Safety Excellence.

1. Lean

If you walk into any plant in the world in the morning, you’ll usually find workers waiting around for the permits necessary to do their jobs. Instead of working hands-on, they might spend anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes every morning just waiting for permits to be approved and issued. This is not an efficient use of anyone’s time or money!

Plus, workers may be anxious to start their jobs once the permits are assigned, or they might feel uninspired and disengaged from their work. They might also feel pressure to rush into their work to make up for the lost time. It can be hard to plan ahead for their day, so they might grab more material than they need for their assigned task. This leads to increased waste and risk of incidents at the site.

Instead, applying lean methodologies improves safety performance and reduces waste in safety processes.

2. Standardized

Within the standardizing principles lies the idea that every abnormality in the process signals a potential error.

As a tool that people use in their day-to-day routines, the Permit to Work process needs to be standardized. Permitting process utilizes practices and procedures that are constantly re-used. It is important to have a deep level of standardization so shifts can come and use the tool, knowing precisely what needs to be done.

A standardized way of handing out permits by using pre-defined templates, by default compliant with corporate regulations, also frees up the time and effort necessary to kick off the continuous improvement mindset of the team.

“Without standards, there can be no kaizen.” This famous quote, attributed to Taiichi Ohno, is also very relevant to the Permit-to-Work process. If you want to learn more about the role of standardization in Operational Safety Excellence, download the white paper here.

3. Measurable

Strong, data-driven processes should be the basis for good, efficient decision-making. Therefore, it is important to build a process that will allow us to capture and measure the performance of Permit to Work from all possible perspectives.

Measurement and re-measurements help to extract necessary data for your site to:

  • Create reachable goals and long-term objectives
  • Understand any deviations from those goals and objectives
  • Measure progress towards those goals and objectives
  • Understand the root cause of any issues, should they arise
  • Meaningfully benchmark results

Moreover, a proper measurement system will help to identify “waste” as non-value-adding activities and to re-balance effort towards value-adding.

So digital or paper?

Looking at the above about three characteristics of a decent permitting system – lean, standardized, and measurable – digital Permit to Work systems obviously will serve this goal better. No human can beat the ability of modern software to consider all necessary settings, prompt handouts and reviews, re-use templates, and close the loop of feedback.

Instead of using multiple manual checklists with manual efforts, digital systems streamline the processes and save both time and resources.

There is also a common hurdle that “digitalization makes people stop thinking” has actually proved to be wrong in 2022. It is totally the opposite, without non-necessary hassle, people tend to be more creative and motivated to improve processes around them even further. We explore this topic with a plant manager from DSM in our article “Digitalization can make people think”

No matter how small is the screen of your electronic device, only a digital system can allow you the fullest overview of the current status of the plant, including:

  • Real-time updates and actual situation overviews to the entire team
  • Ability to attach additional informational documents and work instructions to a permit
  • Ability to involve and reach all necessary parties simultaneously
  • A full overview of permits, their status, and their history
  • Ability to close the loop of learning and re-use the best practices.

These and other features give you comprehensive control over the plant that no paper tower archive can offer.

Digital Permit to Work: how to make it happen?

With its proven implementation framework, Unite-X supports and educates production teams to ensure that organizations elevate their performance towards operational safety excellence through digital tools.

We utilize industry knowledge, team effort, and digital tools to ensure a smooth implementation process. Read more about how the Unite-X Permit to Work software here.

Interested to learn more about Unite-Permit to Work capabilities?

Download the brochure

The brochure will give you a brief overview of the application of the Operational Safety Excellence domain to the Permit-to-Work process. It will also explain how Unite-X enables your company to operate at a higher level both in safety and productivity.

We are also ready to provide you with the necessary documentation and guide you through the stages of realizing your safety ambitions within the organization, business unit, or plant upon request.

Please submit your contact details to get access to the brochure

“We must accept human error is inevitable
– and design around that fact.

Donald Berwick

What is Quality in Safety?

And how to approach it from the perspective of Operational Safety Excellence. 

What is Quality?

Quality, in a broad sense, refers to producing goods or services that meet specified standards or criteria. It involves adherence to statistical bandwidth and ensuring that processes are carried out within defined parameters. Using terminology from the Lean methodology, the presence of excessive operational waste also indicates a lack of quality (Do you have too much waste? Then you are low on quality.)

Essentially, quality encompasses various aspects of a product, setting the foundation for its definition.

We have prepared an infographic explaining how to achieve Quality in 8 steps. Access it directly via this link!

However, when discussing Safety, the discourse inevitably turns toward the aspect of the quality of individuals. Within this domain, we encounter two distinctive facets of people quality — collective and individual.

The collective quality often intertwines with organizational culture, posing questions about the skill levels and behavioral tendencies of the workforce. Is there a pervasive culture of quality in safety? How adept are individuals at adhering to safety protocols?

Simultaneously, the lens narrows down to scrutinize the quality of individual people. This involves an examination of their specific skill levels and the alignment of their actions with prescribed procedures. Consequently, in the aftermath of a serious incident, the initial feedback often revolves around the notion of human error.

When root-cause analysis is misleading?

When it comes to addressing incidents, especially those with severe consequences, the first response is almost always to blame a human error.

A stark example that underscores this is the tragic Bhopal industrial accident of 1984. This catastrophic event unfolded when a tank containing 42 tons of methyl isocyanate experienced a runaway chemical reaction due to water ingress, leading to a staggering number of casualties.

The initial response of a simplistic root-cause analysis with a linear thought process examining facts in chronological order was to pinpoint an error made by a human in the maintenance procedure.

The prescribed instructions stipulated that, during maintenance, a specific device should be inserted to prevent water from entering the tank. The operator overseeing the maintenance neglected to follow this crucial step, allowing water to infiltrate the tank. This breach in protocol triggered the catastrophic chain of events—unleashing a chemical reaction, releasing lethal gas into the village, and resulting in widespread devastation.

However, this linear root-cause analysis provides an oversimplified view of a highly complex situation. It conveniently places blame on an individual, ignoring more impactful forces.

For unsafe states (2)
Look at the system

Quality as a holistic concept that urges us to scrutinize the entire system. It advocates for a more profound exploration of the multifaceted factors influencing the end result.
The Bhopal incident, upon closer examination, reveals harsh economic conditions faced by the plant, contributing to a lax approach to maintenance. The plant’s overall state of disrepair, incessant alarms, and a dismissive attitude toward safety audits all painted a picture of systemic issues that transcended individual actions.

The quality approach prompts us to question the simplicity of the initial narrative. It encourages us to acknowledge that there is seldom a singular, linear cause for such disasters. Instead, it is a complex interplay of various factors—economic downturns, conflicts between management and unions, and compromised safety protocols.

How Quality impacts the emotional state of people

This systematic approach is also supported by the fact that Quality has a direct response to the emotional state of individuals within the process. And that, in it’s turn, results in a poor quality delivery. Again and again, this turns into an endless loop: poorly designed process makes people frustrated, frustrated people are making wrong decisions, and wrong decisions lead to incidents.

We covered this in more detail in our previous article: Mindful and effective: how improved safety processes help to avoid unsafe states?

Quality in Operational Safety Excellence context

When we talk about safety and quality together, it goes beyond just following rules. It is a complicated puzzle that involves understanding human actions and the complex workings of systems.

For instance, when you’re getting ready for a task, an obligatory step is to perform a task risk analysis. This is a common practice worldwide, whether using paper or computer systems. It involves looking at the job beforehand and analyzing the potential risks associated with it. The task risk analysis has a few parts to it:
• Firstly, you consider how detailed the task description is. Is it clear and thorough enough for a proper risk analysis? This is a way to measure the quality of the preparation.
• Secondly, check how accurate the description is. Does it match how the task will actually be carried out? This involves comparing what’s written with what will happen in reality. So, it’s about being detailed enough for understanding and aligning with the execution.
• Finally, if you have a well-described job that matches the reality of its execution, another quality aspect to consider is the thoroughness of hazard identification. How comprehensive or excessive are the hazards outlined? These are three instances where you evaluate the quality during the preparation stage of performing a risk analysis.

In Operational Safety Excellence we zoom in to the level of operations and inject Quality in the process design itself. By doing so, a more comprehensive approach to improving safety quality can be established—one that goes beyond reactive responses to incidents and delves into proactive, systemic enhancements that safeguard against future calamities.

The power of Standardization

According to the knowledge from Operational Safety Excellence, there is one word for the solution: Standardization.

The concept of standardization encapsulates a systematic approach to defining what constitutes excellence and efficiency in operational processes. It is also a perfect example of human error prevention inserted in the process on the operational level. Standardization is not merely a set of rigid rules but a dynamic framework that guides individuals toward understanding what ‘good’ looks like and how to approach it.

Here are the steps to embark on the journey of standardization:

  1. What? Provide your team with tangible examples of what embodies a well-executed, efficient and desired task outcome (how GOOD looks like).By presenting real-world scenarios as benchmarks, individuals gain a practical understanding of the expectations within the context of their responsibilities.
  2. How? Provide comprehensive guidance on how to generate new materials with the emphasis on detailed, granular guidance rather than high-level abstractions. By imparting specific guidelines, individuals are equipped with the tools to assess and address challenges systematically.
  3. Check! Integrate of feedback loops, exemplified by the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycles. This iterative cycle allows individuals to engage in continuous improvement by learning from their experiences. After individuals have created task risk analyses, a collective examination ensues. This collaborative approach involves asking pertinent questions—How well were the examples applied? Were the rules faithfully applied?
  4. No satisfied? If feedback indicates stagnation or decline in performance, get into a deeper analysis of the system. Scrutinize training adequacy, cultural alignment, and the clarity of rules. In essence, it is a return to the systemic level, ensuring that the standards themselves are adaptive and responsive.
  5. Establish the Standard. Reuse of successful outcomes. Rather than reinventing the wheel with each new task, the materials generated through the standardization process become a repository of best practices. This not only streamlines future efforts but also reinforces a culture of consistency and reliability.

In conclusion, standardization, within the realm of operational safety excellence, emerges as a multifaceted tool for quality improvement. It empowers individuals with clear guidance, encourages continuous improvement through feedback loops, and ensures the efficient reuse of successful materials. As a holistic approach, standardization laying the groundwork for sustained quality improvement.


Understanding and enhancing Quality, especially in safety, requires a shift from simplistic root-cause analyses that lead to blaming individuals to a comprehensive systems approach. Quality is about the entire context of how safety procedures are designed and applied. Standardization, coupled with continuous feedback and systemic analysis, emerges as a powerful tool to improve and sustain quality, ensuring safer and more efficient processes and the emotional well-being of the team.

Are you tired of errors, re-dos, and rejections in Permit-to-Work handouts?

With our Permit-to-Work solution we can help you out!

We can teach you all about the Quality aspects of Safety processes (i.e. Permit-to-Work)  in the EHS domain by applying a step-by-step approach to achieve Operational Safety Excellence.

Filled out the form and we are there to help you out!

PRESS RELEASE: IB&X continues as Unite-X

24th August 2021, Netherlands

iB&X, creator of the award-winning safety and efficiency platform, continues under the name Unite-X.  

After more than twenty years of operating in the field of Operational Safety Excellence (OSE), the company decided it was time for a new era, represented by a new image covering both their company and product name.


Unite-X (previously iB&X) started under the name iBanx in 2000, operating as consultants in the field of safety within large-scaled industries. But quickly, it was recognized there was so much more to learn and improve in this specific field, merging safety and other fields. Watch the video about the timeline of Unite-X.  

Later, iBanx changed into iB&X, with a more specialized approach towards safety and operational efficiency. As pioneers in the field, where Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE/EHS) was the most organizations’ primary focus, more and more companies noticed the benefits of the zero-incident solution when combining safety with operational excellence.  


Now, more than twenty years later, it has been shown that making a true impact needs a vision, expertise, knowledge, and courage. It became also obvious that applying lean methodologies to safety processes helps manufacturing organizations to unlock new potential for continuous improvement. 

 Within all the developments the company has made in the last two decades (worldwide representation, reaching 8-week implementation, and winning the DSM award for Indirect Best Overall Supplier (, the organization decided it was time for a new era, including a new brand name as well: Unite-X. 

This is how Barbro Stalbrink, the director of Unite-X comments on the new name: “Unite stands for the way our company works. We unite people and we also unite safety with operational efficiency. We strongly believe in a certain way of thinking in which we unite the strongest parts of different fields and make a difference.” Watch the movie of director Barbro Stalbrink to learn more about why we chose the name Unite-X here.  

Sjoerd Nanninga, director of Unite-X Asia, comments on the X part of the name:

“The X represents the true action (‘there where it really happens’), but also implicates decisions based on real data and made by people who are at the X, people who are actually involved in the X.” 

(Read his article about the X-Factor here).

Rob van den Heuvel (SABIC): 

“We were looking for a program. But what we got was a program, but also a way of thinking and a way of working, which was a bonus for me.” 

Unite-X has developed into a worldwide leader in operating in the field of Operational Safety Excellence (OSE). This domain is created by Unite-X experts, covering the industry knowledge about how to balance production efficiency with working environment safety. It focuses on continuous process improvement by embedding safety execution, safety control, and safety assurance in the heart of operations. 

Lean and safety: friends or foes?

At first sight, Lean manufacturing and safety seem opposites.
Safety protocols have a reputation of slowing things down rather than speeding up production processes or make these more efficient.

In this article, together with Sjoerd Nanninga (Managing Director at Unite-X), we investigate if this common opinion is true.

Lean and Safety

Curious what Unite-X can do for your plant?

We can give you a remote demo

Our experts will showcase the system architecture and explain how Unite-X enables your company to operate at a higher HSE level.

They will provide you with all necessary documentation and guide you through the stages of realizing your ambitions within your organization, business unit or plant.

Get in touch

Please leave your contact details through or form, and we will get back to you soon.

Title of the PDF

Curious what Unite-X
can do for your plant?

We can give you a remote demo

Our experts will showcase the system architecture and explain how Unite-X enables your company to operate at a higher HSE level.

They will provide you with all necessary documentation and guide you through the stages of realizing your ambitions within your organization, business unit or plant.

Get in touch

Please leave your contact details through or form, and we will get back to you soon.