Hot work is one of the most frequent causes of fire in the workplace. What precautions should be taken when welding or soldering, or when using tools that create sparks? We have some expert advice.
What is hot work?
When we talk about hot work, we’re talking about work done with tools that use a naked flame or produce heat or sparks. For example, welding and related processes such as arc welding, oxy-fuel gas welding, open-flame soldering, soldering, thermal spraying, oxygen cutting, and arc cutting.
Before you start
Use the right method
In food, wood and plastic processing plants, recycling centres, and commercial and industrial buildings, hot work is used for a variety of tasks (repairing infrastructure, cutting metal, etc.). But they might not always be the most appropriate, or the safest. Hot work could often be replaced with other processes. Here are some examples:
|RATHER THAN…||WHY NOT TRY…|
|Saw or torch cutting||Manual hydraulic sharing|
|Radial saw or torch cutting||Mechanical pipe cutting|
Prepare the work area
Ideally, the hot work should be performed in a designated fire-safe area such as a maintenance shop. As you’re working with tools that produce sparks, it’s important to clear the area of any combustible or flammable material. Here are a few precautions to take:
Checklist – Work area
During hot work, someone (fire watch) should keep an eye on the sparks or flames produced. All sources of ignition must remain in the secure area and the hot work permit must be clearly visible.
As sparks produced when carrying out hot work can remain dormant before catching fire, keep a close eye on the area for a full hour after the work is done. Inspect the area once every hour for three hours, and keep a record of the process.
To ensure the safety of you and your workers, see that you’ve fully understood, evaluated and managed the risks associated with hot work. Refer to your broker or loss prevention representative for additional details.
This document is provided for information purposes only and should not be considered exhaustive or as advice. Intact Insurance makes no representation and offers no guarantees that using this information will prevent damage or reduce your premium. Your insurance contract prevails at all times; consult it for a full description of guarantees and exclusions. Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions apply.