Hot Work Procedure
Basic precautions for fire prevention in welding or cutting work are:
- If possible, the object to be welded or cut should be moved to a designated hot work area. a list of designated hot work areas is kept with the LSU EHS department. A hot work permit is NOT required.
- If the object to be welded or cut cannot readily be moved, all movable fire hazards in the vicinity shall be removed. A hot work permit NOT is required.
- If the object to be welded or cut cannot be moved and if all the fire hazards cannot be removed, then guards shall be used to confine the heat, sparks, and slag, and to protect the immovable fire hazards. A hot work permit IS required.
- If the requirements stated in A, B, or C of this section cannot be followed then a procedure for performing the hot work must be developed and approved by LSU EHS & a Facility Services Director. A hot work permit IS required and approval from LSU EHS & Facility Services Director.
When the nature of the work to be performed requires the use of fire prevention guards or alternate methods that have been approved by LSU EHS & a Facility Services Director, certain additional precautions may be necessary.
- Wherever there are floor openings or cracks in the flooring that cannot be closed, precautions shall 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 shall be observed with regards to cracks or holes in walls, open doorways and open or broken windows.
- Suitable fire extinguishing equipment shall 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 shall be required whenever welding or cutting is performed in locations
where other than a minor fire might develop, or any of the following conditions exist.
- combustible material, in building construction or contents, closer than 35 feet to the point of operation.
- combustibles are more than 35 feet away but are easily ignited by sparks.
- Combustible materials are adjacent to the opposite side of metal partitions, walls, ceilings, or roofs and are likely to be ignited by conduction or radiation.
- Fire watchers shall have fire extinguishing equipment readily available and be trained in its use. They shall be familiar with facilities for sounding an alarm in the event of a fire. They shall 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. They shall use and be trained in the use of gas detection equipment when the possibility of a combustible or flammable gas is present. A fire watch shall be maintained for at least a half hour after completion of welding or cutting operations to detect and extinguish possible smoldering fires.
- Fire watchers shall be required whenever welding or cutting is performed in locations where other than a minor fire might develop, or any of the following conditions exist.
- Before any hot work is permitted, the area shall be inspected by the individual responsible for authorizing hot work operations. They shall designate precautions to be followed and authorize hot work operations on the LSU Hot Work Permit. A list of hot work permit authorizers can be found by contacting the LSU EHS department at EHS@LSU.edu or by calling 578-5640.
- Where combustible materials such as paper clippings, wood shavings, or textile fibers are on the floor, the floor shall be swept clean for a radius of 35 feet. If the floor itself is combustible, it shall be kept wet, covered with damp sand, or protected by fire resistant shields. Where floors have been wet down, personnel operating arc welding or cutting equipment shall be protected from possible shock.
- When possible, all combustibles shall be relocated at least 35 feet from the hot work site. Where relocation is not possible, combustibles shall be protected with flameproofed covers.
- Ducts and conveyor systems that might carry sparks to distant combustibles shall be suitably protected or shut down.
- Where cutting or welding is done near walls, partitions, ceilings or roof of combustible construction, fire-resistant shields or guards shall be provided to prevent ignition.
- If welding is to be done on a metal wall, partition, ceiling or roof, precautions shall be taken to prevent ignition of combustibles on the other side, due to conduction or radiation, preferably by relocating combustibles. Where combustibles are not relocated, a fire watch on the opposite side from the work shall be provided.
- Cutting or welding on pipes or other metal in contact with combustible walls, partitions, ceilings or roofs shall not be undertaken if the work is close enough to cause ignition by conduction.
- In areas where combustible or flammable gas may be present, a gas detector shall be used to detect any gases that may be present. If the presence of any gas is detected, hot work must be stopped.
Designated Hot Work Areas
- A designated hot work area is a permanent location designed for hot work. These areas do not require a hot work permit to perform hot work.
- Designated hot work areas shall be:
- inspected and approved by Facility Management and/or EHS.
- Inspected by EHS on an annual basis after being approved.
- kept free of combustibles and flammables.
- Constructed using non-combustible or fire resistive materials.
- Equipped with fire extinguisher(s).
- Equipped with mechanical ventilation to control smoke and fumes.
Hot Work Permit
- A hot work permit is required before beginning any work involving electric or gas welding, cutting, brazing, grinding, torch work or similar flame or spark producing operations within 35 feet of LSU buildings or other combustible/flammable material on campus.
- The hot work permit can be found in the appendix of the operating instruction or on the EHS and Facility Services website.
- The hot work permit must be filled out and signed by a permit authorizer before hot work can begin.
- A list of Hot work permit authorizers can be found by contacting the LSU EHS department at EHS@LSU.edu or by calling 578-5640
- The hot work permit is only valid for the duration indicated on the permit. The hot work permit becomes expired at the end date and time listed on the permit. Hot work permits for multiple days must be initialed by the work crews at the beginning of the new shift verifying permit requirements are still in place.
- All controls listed on the hot work permit must stay in place and followed for the duration of the hot work permit.
- If a work crew has already received a hot work permit for their work and the job scope changes or the hot work being performed changes, a new hot work permit must be obtained for the change in work being performed.
Hot Work Permit Procedures
- The supervisor or manager is responsible for identifying Hot work and making sure work crews are prepared ahead of time for hot work jobs.
- Work crews are responsible for preparing the work site for hot work and ensuring the Hot Work permit is filled out before the supervisor or Hot Work permit authorizer arrives to the work site.
- The Hot Work permit authorizer will inspect the work site to ensure all precautions for hot work are in place and the Hot Work Permit is filled out. The Hot Work Permit will not be authorized unless all items on the Permit have been adequately addressed. A list of hot work permit authorizers can be found by contacting the LSU EHS department at EHS@LSU.edu or by calling 578-5640.
- Hot Work Permits for multiple days are permissible if it is noted on the permit. Work crews are responsible for inspecting work areas and verifying hot work permit requirements are still in place before beginning hot work. Work crews must initial the permit verifying that they have made their daily check.
- Work crews will be responsible for maintaining the Hot Work Permit and making sure a copy of the permit is attached to the FAMIS work order.
- If fire detection in the work area was disabled, fire detection must be re-activated immediately following the completion of work.
- After job completion, work crews will turn their authorized Hot Work Permits into their supervisors.
- All completed Hot Work Permits shall be turned into the LSU Health & Safety Department.
- All employees involved in hot work or may be involved with hot work, shall be trained in identifying work that would require a hot work permit, preparing hot work permits and preparing a work site for hot work.
- Employees who perform fire watch duties shall be trained in the use of a fire extinguisher and the use of gas detecting equipment.
- Hot work permit authorizers shall be trained in accordance with paragraph A of this section. Hot work permit authorizers shall also be trained on how to verify hot work permits and inspect hot work areas to verify all hazards have been addressed.
- Training will be provided by the LSU EHS Department.
Examples of hot work:
- Torch cutting
- Working with an open flame