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Posted on: April 25, 2016 By: Trevor Atherton, Safety Mgr

Hot Work

Hot work includes welding, burning, cutting and grinding.  The following are a list of safety rules to follow when conducting any type of hot work:

  • Only experienced persons shall be allowed to do any type of welding, burning, cutting or grinding.
  • No one is to do any type of hot work in a hazardous area without proper instruction and a written permit from the proper authority.
  • Safety concerning hot work is of vital importance.  Improper processes can result in loss of life and property by fire and/or explosions.  Therefore, it is essential that safety precaution be observed during all phases of hot work.  The use of permits for hot work in a hazardous location is one method of reducing a potentially serious situation from developing.  As stated above, no one is to do any type of welding or burning in a hazardous area without a written permit.  These permits should be issued by either the owner, general contractor or Safety Department on your particular jobsite.
  • Do not conduct hot work so that hot sparks, hot metal or severed sections fall on cylinders, hoses, machinery, legs or feet, flammable material or where they may strike personnel working below.
  • Always wear the proper personal protective equipment: (welder and helper) welding hood with proper filter lens, fire retardant welding gloves, welding jacket, natural or flame retardant exterior pants and a respirator when burning materials that give off fumes.
  • A fire watch should be established to patrol all exposed areas of the hot work if the potential for a fire exist.  The fire watch shall conduct a final inspection 30 minutes have hot work is completed.
  • Mechanical or local exhaust ventilation shall be provided whenever welding or burning is performed in a confined space.  Provide adequate ventilation while torch cutting, welding, and soldering working on galvanized material.  Cutting coated steel and rebar may require the use of respirators depending on coating content.
  • Never burn on any closed container that may have held flammable substances without thoroughly purging the container.
  • All exposed combustible materials located below or in the vicinity of the welding and cutting area must be removed to a safe location.  If removal is impractical or impossible, the combustible materials should be covered with a fire-retardant material or protected by an approved spark catcher to contain all sparks and slag.
  • Portable fire extinguishers shall be located at each work site.
  • Locate screens around all welding and burning operations, where possible, to protect fellow employees against burns or flashes.
  • All welding must have a separate and adequate ground cable pulled from the welding machine and connected to the item being welded and in close proximity to the weld.
  • At the end of each shift or when not in use for extended periods all welding machines shall be turned off.
  • Leads, grounds, clamps, welding machines, hoses, gauges, torches and cylinders shall be inspected before each use.  Any faulty or defective equipment shall be reported to the supervisor and the use of the equipment shall be discontinued until its safety has been assured.

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