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Hot Work / Welding Safety – Hazard, Precautions & PPE

Job that involves spark, source of ignition and fire comes under Hot work. Example: welding, cutting, heating.

Hazards of hot work:
  • Fire and burn injuries.
  • Health hazards.
  • Electrocution and electric fire.
  • Mechanical hazards.
  • Compressed gas hazards.
Hot work Safety precautions & control measures
  • Hot Work permit is required to start hot work activity. Adhere to PTW & Hot work procedures of client.
  • LEL level shall be zero to start hot work activity
  • Welding work on any tank, vessel or piping shall only be undertaken when it has been positively isolated from all sources of flammable hazards and established that it is free of flammable vapors or substances.
  • Gas testing should be done around 15 meter radius of hot work.
  • Welding booth shall be made at Welding location. Welding location shall be fully covered with fire blanket.
  • Where hot works are carried out at elevated work areas where fire spatter may fall to the ground below, the area directly below shall be covered by fire blanket, and access below shall be barricaded.
  • Compressed gas cylinder safety guide line shall be followed
  • Good housekeeping shall be maintained at work site. All combustible material shall remove from 8 meter radius of hot work. The welding work area shall at all times be kept clean of combustible and flammable material. Used welding rods, grinding discs, etc. shall be collected and not thrown around.
  • Suitable fire extinguishing equipment shall be immediately available in the work area and shall be maintained in a state of readiness for use. (Usually 2 number of 9kg DCP fire extinguisher)
  • A trained fire watcher shall be deployed for all hot work areas. The fire watcher shall maintain watch for the area identified as hazardous area in the permit to work and shall remain in the location 30 minutes after the hot work (actual welding) have ceased.
  • Inspection should be done of welding machine and power tools used for hot work.
  • Compressed gas cylinder safety guidelines shall be followed
  • Where hot works are carried out at elevated work areas where fire spatter may fall to the ground below, the area directly below shall be covered by fire blanket, and access below shall be barricaded.
  • Welding equipment, gas cylinders and, other apparatus used to perform hot works shall be located in a manner that it does not present a hazard to personnel.
  • Equipment shall be kept clear from access ways.
  • Generators shall be equipped with spark arrestors if being used in brown field / live plant areas.
  • Cable and other equipment shall be kept clear of passage ways, ladders, and stairs.
  • Cables in need of repair shall not be used.
  • Cables and hoses shall be kept clear from access ways and be suspended on insulated cable hangers at least 2 meters higher above grade level.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personnel performing welding, cutting and grinding works shall wear suitable protective equipment prior to performing the intended works.

  • Suitable eye and face protection.
  • Shatter resistant face shields for grinding operations.
  • Helmets that are compatible with welding hoods, face shields etc.
  • Protective clothing to minimize the potential for ignition, burning, trapping hot sparks, or electric shocks such as:
    • Gloves – Flame resistant gloves for welders and cutters
    • Apron – Flame resistant aprons for welders to protect the front of the body as a protection against sparks and radiant energy
    • Leggings – For heavy work, flame resistant or other equivalent means shall be used to provide added protection to the legs
  • Ear protection – Noise resulting from hot works shall be controlled at source where feasible. When control methods fail to bring noise exposure within allowable limits (85dBA) ear muffs or ear plugs shall be used.
  • Respiratory Protective Equipment – When controls such as ventilation fail to reduce air contaminants to allowable levels or when the implementation of such controls are not feasible, RPE shall be used to protect personnel from hazardous concentrations of airborne contaminants.

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