Hot Work

Based on the California Code of Regulations Title 8, Section §4848. Information contained in the National Fire Protection Association Standard for Fire Prevention During Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work and the American National Standards Institute Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes is incorporated by reference into these requirements.

Hot Work Permit Process Policy

These procedures including the hot work permit process are established to assist in preventing accidental ignition of combustible and flammable materials and injury from exposure to sparks, heat, and flames. Hot work permit procedures apply to activities that result in the release of sparks, flames, molten slag, or hot material, which has the potential to cause fires or explosions. A hot work permit (Attachment A) is required in non-designated areas for the following operations capable of providing an ignition source, including but not limited to:

  • Welding
  • Torch work
  • Soldering
  • Metal cutting and brazing
  • Molten liquid, liquid metal, and smelting processes
  • Open flame processes
  • Use of spark producing devices
  • Work on portable and mobile containers which contained flammable or combustible materials

This program defines responsibilities and is intended to be a guide for persons involved in hot work operations. Designated hot work areas specifically designed for this purpose are exempt from the hot work permit process. Hot work permits can be obtained from Facilities Services and Environmental Health and Safety.

The objectives of this program include:

  • Prevent ignition of combustible and flammable materials.
  • Ensure the work area is checked.
  • Isolate combustible and flammable materials from the hot work.
  • Document hazardous conditions and special requirements for the work area.
  • Provide communication with all affected departments.
  • Control how open flame or spark-producing equipment is used.
  • Establish fire watches when applicable to the work being performed.

Anyone who conducts hot work operations at San Diego State University shall conform to the requirements documented in this program based on the California Code of Regulations Title 8, Section §4848. Information contained in the National Fire Protection Association Standard for Fire Prevention During Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work and the American National Standards Institute Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes is incorporated by reference into these requirements.

A summary of applicable definitions is provided below.

Permissible Areas
Areas that are or have been made fire safe. These include designated areas and permit required areas.

Designated Area
A designated area is a specific area designed or approved for specific work, such as a maintenance shop or a detached outside location that is of noncombustible or fire resistive construction, essentially free of combustible and flammable contents, and suitably segregated from adjacent areas.

Permit Required Area (Non-designated Area)
An area that is made fire safe by removing or protecting combustibles and flammables from ignition sources.

Hot Work Permit
A written permit prepared by the permit authorizing individual (PAI) before hot work operations begin in a non-designated area.

 A. Environmental Health & Safety is responsible to:

  1. Prepare, maintain, and update the written standard operating procedures for hot work and the hot work permit process at SDSU.
  2. Assist in coordination of training for employees regarding procedures and protocols associated with the hot work permit process and fire and life safety issues.

B. SDSU Managers and Supervisors of employees that conduct hot work operations are responsible to:

  1. Provide proper personal protective equipment to their operators.
  2. Ensure that their employees receive training specific to the work being performed in their department and the hot work permit process.
  3. Assist with updating the written standard operating procedures for hot work and the hot work permit process.
  4. Ensure all participants in the hot work permit process fulfill their duties and responsibilities.

C.  The Permit Authorizing Individual (PAI) is responsible to:

  1. Recognize flammable materials, hazardous processes, or other potential fire hazards present or likely to be present in the work location.
  2. Verify that fire protection and extinguishing equipment are properly located at the site.
  3. Where a fire watch is required see that the fire watch is available at the site.
  4. If applicable, request assistance from the SDSU Electric Shop or the campus fire alarm maintenance contractor to disable any automatic fire / smoke detection equipment prior to commencing work and after work is complete inform the SDSU Electric Shop or the campus fire alarm maintenance contractor to re-enable the equipment.
  5. Sign the permit after conditions in the hot work permit checklist have been met.
  6. Determine the duration for which the hot work permit is valid and issue the completed permit form to the employee performing the hot work procedure.
  7. Ensure the permit has been posted at the work location.
  8. Inspect the area at least once per day while the permit is in effect to ensure a fire safe area.
  9. Where a fire watch is not required, make a final inspection ½ hour after the completion of hot work operations.
  10. Sign and close out the permit.
  11. Notify proper personnel when the permit is closed out.

D.  Hot work operator is responsible to:

  1. Comply with the conditions listed on the hot work permit.
  2. Review the hot work permit checklist prior to performing work.
  3. Indicate special precautions on the hot work permit, as necessary.
  4. Obtain the PAI’s approval before starting hot work operations.
  5. Display the hot work permit in the work area so all employees will be able to see it.
  6. Advise other employees of conditions pertaining to the job that may affect them or other facility operations.
  7. Ensure proper personnel are notified of the work to be done and when the work is complete.
  8. Inform fire watch of potential hazards, if applicable.
  9. Be familiar with the work area and know the location of the nearest telephone, fire alarm, and fire extinguisher and how to use them before starting work.
  10. Ensure equipment and hot work activities are handled safely.
  11. Discontinue hot work operations if unsafe conditions develop and notify management, the area supervisor, or the PAI for reassessment of the situation.
  12. Discontinue all work, disconnect all electrical equipment, and secure all gas cylinders if an alarm sounds. Continue work when conditions are safe.
  13. Be constantly aware of conditions in the immediate work area and for a distance of at least 35 feet around the hot work site and maintain the area free of flammables, combustibles, and tripping hazards.
  14. Confine all sparks and slag as close to the work area as possible.
  15. Ensure an item to be demolished or removed is properly identified and marked.
  16. Do not allow operations which have the potential to cause the area or equipment to become unsafe while the permit is in effect.
  17. Inspect and gas check the work area periodically, if applicable.
  18. Clean up and secure the work area after completion of work each shift.
  19. Inspect the work area and adjacent areas to ensure they are safe when work is completed.

E.  Fire Watch Personnel, if required, are responsible to:

  1. Be familiar with, understand, and follow the conditions listed on the hot work permit.
  2. Maintain an awareness of the inherent hazards of the work site and of the hot work.
  3. Ensure that safe conditions are maintained during hot work operations.
  4. Notify the person doing the work of any hazardous conditions, for example if any sparks are not contained in the work area.
  5. Inform hot work operator to stop the hot work operations if unsafe conditions develop.
  6. Have fire extinguishing equipment readily available and be trained in its use.
  7. Be familiar with the facilities and procedures for activating the alarm in the event of a fire.
  8. Observe an area of at least 35 feet around the hot work site, including the other side of any wall or barrier.
  9. Watch for fires in all exposed areas and try to extinguish them only when the fires are obviously within the capacity of the equipment available.
  10. Sound the alarm immediately for assistance in the event of any fire.
  11. Remain on the scene from the start of the work until 30 minutes after completion of all hot work.

F.  Contractors are responsible to:

  1. Comply with all Cal-OSHA requirements pertaining to hot work.
  2. Take responsibility for their employees who perform hot work on campus.
  3. Train employees in the required procedures.

 A. Hot Work General Safety Precautions

The following general safety precautions shall be complied with prior to performing hot work activities in designated and permit required areas.

  1. Combustibles and flammables shall not be located within a 35 feet radius of the hot work area.
  2. If relocation is impractical, combustibles shall be protected with fire retardant covers or otherwise shielded with metal or fire retardant guards, curtains, or barriers to help prevent ignition of materials. Edges of covers at the floor shall be tight to prevent sparks from going under them, including where several covers overlap when protecting a large pile.
  3. Combustible floors shall be kept wet, be covered with damp sand, or be protected by noncombustible or fire retardant shields. Where floors have been wet down, personnel operating arc welding or cutting equipment shall be protected from possible shock.
  4. If hot work is done near walls, partitions, ceilings, or roofs of combustible construction, fire retardant shields or guards shall be provided to prevent ignition.
  5. If hot work is to be done on a wall, partition, ceiling, or roof precautions shall be taken to prevent ignition of combustibles on the other side by relocating combustibles. If this is impractical, then a fire watch shall be provided on the opposite side from the work.
  6. Hot work shall not be attempted on a partition, wall, ceiling, or roof that has a combustible covering or insulation, or on walls or partitions of combustible sandwich-type panel construction.
  7. Hot work on pipes or other metal that is in contact with combustible walls, partitions, ceilings, roofs or other combustibles shall not be undertaken if the work is close enough to cause ignition by conduction.
  8. Openings or cracks in walls, floors, or ducts within 35 feet of the site shall be tightly covered with fire retardant or noncombustible material to prevent the passage of sparks to adjacent areas.
  9. The atmosphere shall not contain flammable or combustible vapor.
  10. Floors shall be free of oils, grease, and solvent residue.
  11. Work being conducted in public areas shall require shields, welding curtains, or barriers to protect the public from exposure to flames, heat, slag, sparks, and welding light.
  12. Equipment used for conducting hot work shall be inspected and evaluated for good working condition (e.g. cylinders, torches, lines, hoses, valves, and wires).
  13. Employees shall have an approved hot work permit on site in non-designated areas where work operations are conducted.
  14. Appropriate personal protective equipment shall be worn during hot work including but not limited to goggles, safety glasses with side shields, face shield, welding helmet with tint protection, ear plugs, gloves, fire resistive leather aprons, and work boots.
  15. A first aid kit shall be available.
  16. Gas cutting and welding equipment shall be secured to avoid damage and disturbance.
  17. Gas cylinders shall be secured.
  18. Gas cylinders shall be labeled and pressure gages shall be checked for leaks.
  19. Gas cylinder valves shall be closed when the equipment is not in use.
  20. A fully charged and operable fire extinguisher shall be present at all hot work operations and shall be located within 10 feet of the work.
  21. During hot work, special precautions shall be taken to avoid accidental operation of automatic fire detection or suppression systems.
  22. If hot work is done in close proximity to a sprinkler head, a wet rag shall be laid over the head and then removed at the conclusion of the welding or cutting operation.
  23. If the alarm is activated all work shall be discontinued, all electrical equipment disconnected, and gas cylinders secured. Work shall not be resumed until safe conditions are restored.
  24. All hot work operations in a confined space shall have a hot work permit.
  25. All persons working with hot work processes shall be trained. Training shall include the applicable contents of this written program, for example appropriate personal protective equipment, hazards associated with hot work, hazardous materials and hazard communications, fire extinguisher use, fire and life safety, and hot work in confined spaces.
  26. Hot tapping or other cutting and welding on a flammable gas or liquid transmission or distribution utility pipeline shall be performed by a crew that is qualified to make hot taps.
  27. Hot work is not permitted in sprinklered buildings while such protection is impaired, in the presence of explosive atmospheres (that is where mixtures of flammable gases, vapors, liquids, or dusts with air exist), or on drums, tanks, vessels, or other containers and equipment that contain combustible or flammable material.

 

B.  Hot Work in Non-designated Areas

The following hot work permit procedures shall be complied with prior to performing hot work activities in non-designated areas.

  1. A written hot work permit by the permit authorizing individual shall be required.
  2. The PAI shall inspect the location where the work will be performed, verify that all requirements stated in the checklist are in place, and document this on the hot work permit.
  3. The permit shall be issued to one person responsible for the work to be accomplished.
  4. The permit applies only to the job, in the area specified, during the time and date listed on the permit.
  5. The hot work permit shall be displayed at the job site.

 

C. Fire Watch

  1. A fire watch shall be required by the PAI when hot work is performed in non-designated areas where the following conditions exist.
    1. Combustible materials in building construction or contents are closer than 35 feet to the point of operation and are not protected with fire retardant covers or otherwise shielded with metal or fire retardant guards, curtains, or barriers to help prevent ignition of materials.
    2. Combustible materials are more than 35 feet away but are easily ignited by sparks.
    3. Wall or floor openings within a 35 feet radius expose combustible materials in adjacent areas.
    4. Combustible materials are adjacent to the opposite side of partitions, walls, ceilings, or roofs and are likely to be ignited.
    5. Hot work is done in close proximity to a sprinkler head and a wet rag is laid over the head until the welding or cutting operation is complete.
  2. When a fire watch is implemented the following requirements shall apply.
    1. Fire watch personnel shall be trained in their duties.
    2. A fire watch shall be maintained for at least ½ hour after completion of hot work operations in order to detect and extinguish smoldering fires.
    3. More than one fire watch shall be required if combustible materials that could be ignited by the hot work operation cannot be directly observed by the initial fire watch.
    4. Fire watch personnel shall be permitted to have additional duties, however, these additional duties shall not distract them from their fire watch responsibilities.

 The following requirements apply to maintenance of hot work permit program records.

  • Hot work permit records shall be maintained for at least one year.
  • Training records shall include sign in sheets with each employee’s name, signature, and date of the training.
  • Training records and hot work permits shall be maintained by the supervisor and EH&S and shall be available in the applicable shop for inspection by employees and their authorized representatives.
  • This written program shall be available for all employees to review.
  • EH&S shall work with shop supervisors to review and update written procedures in this program.

Hot Work Permit