Hot Work: Cutting & Welding       Safety

Hot Work: Cutting & Welding

Cutting and Welding Fires are Usually Caused by One of Three Things:

  1. Sparks and Slag: can fall through cracks or openings in floors, under doors, on combustible material or on flammable liquids. Sparks can fly 35 feet horizontally, may smolder in cracks with fire breaking out after the end of the shift
  2. Metal: being cut or welded can transmit heat by conduction or radiation and start a fire in adjacent or nearby combustibles
  3. Torch: the cutting torch accidentally coming close to, or in contact with, combustible material can be a ready source of ignition

To Prevent Cutting or Welding Fires:

  1. Move work to a safe place. If work can’t be moved, remove combustibles from area
  2. Sweep floors clean
  3. Keep fire extinguishers handy and be fully knowledgeable in its use
  4. Don’t cut or weld in the presence of flammable liquids or vapors, in the presence of lint or dust, or on unpurged containers previously holding flammable liquids
  5. Acetylene gas can ‘pool’ and ignite; avoid situations where the gas can “pool” if the valve is left open
  6. Choose a safe direction for the cut so that the sparks are going in the direction you want