Hot work safety is for every worker embarking on any hot work activity on-site, office or at their home.
Activities associated with hot works are welding, flame-cutting, brazing, grinding etc. However, hot works are works associated with sufficient heat to cause a fire.
Consequently, the US fire departments responded to an average of 4,580 structure fires involving hot work per year from 2014–to 2018. These fires caused an average of 22 civilian deaths, 171 civilian injuries, and $484 million in direct property damage per year.
We have many hazards associated with hot work activity. And they are
- Explosive atmospheres.
- Electrical Hazards
- Hot surfaces
- Exposure to Harmful UV or Infrared Light
- Flying particles.
- Heat conduction through pipes.
- Molten metals
- Dangerous Fumes.
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Hot work safety: What can you do to ensure hot work safety today?
Permit to work
- Ensure there is a hot work permit for all hot work activities.
- Ensure you collect the required hot work permit before you engage in any hot work activity. Maintain adequate measures as written on the Permit to work. Ensure that all control measures are in place before the start of the work.
- Follow all safety requirements and precautions as written in the permit. Ensure the activity is done at the location.
- Clear the workplace from combustibles before any hot work activity.
- Use fire-resistant barriers in all hot work locations if need be.
- Avoid hot work if you can. For example, you use bolts and nuts rather than welding two places together.
- Remove all fuel sources properly before the start of any hot work activity.
- All hot work activities have to be done by trained personnel.
- Ensure that all fire policies and procedures are current and sufficient for use.
- There must be a presence of a fire watch at all times.
- Fire extinguisher presence during any hot work activity.
Training of workers
- Train the workers in fire emergency response procedures.
- Ensure adequate ventilation in the work area to remove fumes, gases, and dust from the work process.
- Make use of LEV local exhaust ventilation or natural air to maintain proper ventilation throughout the welding activity.
Supervision of the work area
- Always supervise and monitor all hot work operations by a competent person.
Safe work practice.
- Do not do any hot work activity on a ladder. Set a scaffold for such an activity.
- Encourage communication among the workers during work so they can report any unsafe practices and conditions.
Personal protective equipment.
- Make provisions for Personal protective equipment such as a safety boot, welding shield, Flame-resistant cover etc.
- If the activity involves noise above 85 decibels, Please wear an earplug.
- If the work is on a scaffold, make provisions for the full-body harness belt and lifeline, and ensure an anchorage point is used during the activity.
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