Scope: A hot Work Permit program is required if cutting or welding is performed in locations other than designated welding areas.
Authority/Reference: OSHA 29 CFR 1910.252
Accountability: Employers are to designate an authorized individual to inspect areas where cutting and welding are to be performed. Such approval should be in the form of a written permit, identifying precautions to be taken, the scope of work to be performed and any follow-up surveillance upon completion of the work.
Problem Elements: These considerations must be addressed prior to issuing a Hot Work Permit:
Fire Hazards: if the object to be welded or cut cannot readily be moved, all movable fire hazards in the vicinity will be taken to a safe place.
Guards: If the object to be welded or cut cannot be moved, and if all the fire hazards cannot be removed, then guards will be used to confine the heat, sparks and slag, and to protect the immovable fire hazards.
Restrictions: If the requirements stated above cannot be followed, then welding and cutting will not be performed.
Combustible material: Whenever there are floor openings or cracks in the flooring that cannot be closed, precautions will be taken so that no readily combustible materials on the floor below will be exposed to sparks which might drop through the floor. The same precautions will be observed with regard to cracks or holes in walls, open doorways and open or broken windows.
Fire extinguishers: Suitable fire extinguishing equipment will be maintained in a state of readiness for instant use. Such equipment may consist of pails of water, buckets of sand, hose or portable extinguishers depending upon the nature and quantity of the combustible material exposed.
Fire watch: fire watchers will be required whenever welding or cutting is performed in locations where other than a minor fire might develop or in areas in close proximity to combustible materials. Fire watchers will have fire extinguishing equipment readily available and be trained in its use. They will be familiar with facilities for sounding an alarm in the event of a fire. They will watch for fires in all exposed areas, try to extinguish them only when obviously within the capacity of the equipment available, or otherwise sound the alarm. A fire watch will be maintained for at least a half hour after completion of welding or cutting operations to detect and extinguish possible smoldering fires.
If any of these precautions cannot be followed than cutting or welding will not be performed.
Authorization: Before cutting or welding is permitted, the area shall be inspected by the individual responsible for authorizing cutting and welding operations. They will designate precautions to be followed in granting authorization to proceed in the form of a written permit.
Training: Physical Plant will train individuals to properly submit a completed hot work request. Any further training should come as part of the welding training they receive.
Responsibility: The Director of Environmental Health and Safety will prepare and maintain the hot work permit program including required training. The Physical Plant Supervisor of Operations will issue the hot work permits and maintain them on file for a period of one year from the date of issue.