What are some key considerations with permitted hot work?
The definition of Hot Work encompasses…
- Welding, burning, grinding, using powder actuated tools, abrasive blasting, and similar work involving open flames, high temperatures, or sparks
- Using electrically or battery powered tools or other equipment having non-explosion proof motors or parts (unless proven to be intrinsically safe)
- Opening energized electrical junction boxes
- Operating motor vehicles and other internal combustion driven equipment within operating unit processing areas.
The purpose of hot work permitting is to ensure that potential sources of ignition are identified and controlled to prevent fires and explosions. Below are some key considerations with permitted hot work.
- The area around the hot work should be free of combustible material. A good practice is to keep combustible or flammable materials at least 35’ away from hot work operation. If these materials cannot be moved more than 35′ away, they should be covered with a fire blanket or otherwise protected.
- Sewers in the area need to be covered and sealed. Bird baths need sufficient water to ensure a good seal. If a bird bath cannot be used follow the client’s site specific procedure to seal off sewer.
- There should be no work on open equipment in the vicinity of hot work if a safe distance cannot be maintained between the hot work and any flammable or combustible materials associated with that other work.
- When a fire watch is assigned, and combustibles cannot be relocated 35’ or more away from the work, then the fire watch must remain at the job for 30 minutes after the hot work is completed to ensure that no fires develop.
- A means to extinguish the fire should be available for use by the fire watch