What Does Hot Work Permit Mean?
In some countries, a hot work permit is required for anyone who performs tasks involving a source of ignition when flammable materials are in the vicinity. This permitting system is intended to improve safety and to make fire hazards more manageable.
Welding, soldering, cutting, and brazing are all considered hot work, as is grinding and drilling when done in the presence of flammable materials.
Safeopedia Explains Hot Work Permit
According to OSHA Standard 1917.152, hot work includes any fire or spark-producing operation such as welding, flame-cutting, and brazing.
The hot work permit system is meant to ensure that stringent fire safety measures are being followed. For instance, under this system, a fire watcher must oversee a hot work site for at least 30 minutes after the completion of the job. This is due to the fact that most fires associated with hot work are caused by smoldering sparks that ignite some time after the job has been completed.
The hot work permit functions as a legal document, similar to a permit-to-work system, with an exhaustive list of all possible hot work that maybe performed by the permit holder and a checklist for safe operations.
Hot Work Control Measures
Carrying out hot work safely involves a formal hazard assessment to identify all risks, knowledge of safety procedures related to hot work, and the implementation of adequate control measures.
A hot work permit holder should know, for example, that hot work must not be performed in a potentially explosive atmosphere, within 50 feet of stored gas cylinders, or when unauthorized personnel are present in the risk zone.
Control measures for hot work can include:
- Avoiding hot work when alternative, less hazardous ways of getting the job done are available
- Preparing a hot work permit, including the work to be performed, how it will be completed, and precautions that will ensure safety during while the job is being done
- Creating a designated area for hot work, which may require fire-resistant floors and walls, well-ventilated, and free of flammable materials
- Staying on top of housekeeping so the hot work can be carried out in a space free of clutter and debris
- Providing all necessary PPE for hot work, such as face shields and welding gloves