Hot work Activities are very common in construction sites .Hot work refers to operations that are capable of initiating fires or explosions. Undertaking hot work in an area where flammable liquids, vapours or gases, combustible liquids, materials, dust or fibers, or other flammable or explosive substances are present creates a significant risk of fire or explosion.
A) General Welding and Cutting Controls
- Welding and cutting operations should be restricted to workers who have been properly trained.
- Fire code permits are required for all welding and cutting operations. Permits are obtained from the local fire official.
- Whenever possible, hot work should be performed in a properly designed shop area equipped with all necessary controls and adequate ventilation.
- Combustible materials, such as building construction materials or other building contents, must be located at least 35 feet from the hot work area or properly protected to prevent hot sparks from contacting them. Floors within this area must also be swept clean of all combustible materials.
- Personal protective equipment specifically designed for hot work should be provided to and used by workers.
- A person other than the operator should perform fire watch duties and should remain at the worksite for at least 30 minutes after hot work operations have ended.
B) VENTILATION IN HOT WORK/ WELDING AREAS
Whenever possible, welding and/or cutting operations should be performed in areas that are
Isolated and designated for such uses. Welding or cutting must not be performed in the following
- In the presence of explosive atmospheres
- In areas near the storage of quantities of exposed, ignitable materials
C) Welding or Cutting in Confined Spaces
- When working in poorly ventilated spaces, exposure to air contaminants generated by welding or cutting must be controlled by ventilation, respiratory protection, or a combination of the two.
- Gas cylinders and welding machines must be left outside the space when work is performed in spaces such as boilers, tanks, or pressure vessels. Heavy portable equipment mounted on wheels must be securely blocked to prevent movement
- A written hot work permit should be used for all hot work operations.
D) CYLINDER STORAGE, TRANSPORTATION AND USE
Below covers the general requirements for storage, transportation, and use of Oxygen/acetylene cylinders and fuel cylinders:
- Fuel gas cylinders (oxygen/acetylene/LP gas, etc.) must be stored in their upright positions with caps in place and secured when not in use.
- Oxygen and fuel gas cylinders must be kept a minimum of 20-feet apart or stored in an approved storage unit.
- Workers should be trained in proper equipment operation, handling and storage of welding materials, compressed gas safety, chemical hazards, and in working procedures including the written hot work permit. Assistance in employee training is available through EHS.
- Workers must receive training on personal protective equipment selection and use. Documentation of the training must be maintained. Sample forms and general training are available through EHS.
- Workers must receive training before working in confined spaces