Welding Requirements When Performing Hot Work Operations

Hot Work

Hot work is any work that involves burning, welding, using fire- or spark-producing tools, or that produces a source of ignition. Follow these general best practices below for hot work.

  • Do not perform hot work where flammable vapors or combustible materials exist.
  • Relocate work and equipment outside of the hazardous areas when possible.
  • Make suitable fire-extinguishing equipment immediately available in a state of readiness. The equipment may consist of pails of water, buckets of sand, hose, or portable extinguishers dependent upon the nature and quantity of the combustible material exposed.
  • When performing hot work, assign a fire watch to guard.

Fire Watch

A worker designated as the “Fire Watch” is required whenever welding or cutting is performed in locations where other than a minor fire might develop, or any of the following conditions exist:

  • Appreciable combustible material, in building construction or contents, is closer than 35 feet (10.7 m) to the point of operation.
  • Appreciable combustibles are more than 35 feet (10.7 m) away but are easily ignited by sparks.
  • Wall or floor openings within a 35-foot (10.7 m) radius expose combustible material in adjacent areas, including concealed spaces in walls or floors.
  • 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.
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Fire Watch Duties

The duties of a qualified fire watch include:

  • They must have fire-extinguishing equipment readily available.
  • Train them on how to use fire-extinguishing equipment.
  • They must be familiar with facilities for sounding an alarm in the event of a fire.
  • They must 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 must maintain a fire watch for at least 30 minutes (to meet OSHA requirements) or 60 minutes (to meet NFPA requirements) after completing welding or cutting operations to detect and extinguish possible smoldering fires.
About John Mathew

My name is John Mathew, and I am a safety advisor with over 8 years of experience in the field. Currently, I work at Bechtel USA, where I provide guidance and expertise to ensure the safety of all workers on site. Throughout my career, I have developed a passion for safety and am committed to creating a safe working environment for everyone. I am knowledgeable about all relevant safety regulations and standards, and I strive to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.

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