Policy: Policy 11-3-12: Hot Works Program Policy Date Adopted: Jul 14, 2008
Department: Environmental Health & Safety Contact: Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator
Statement: The purpose of this policy is to prevent any fires that may result from "hot work" processes. This "hot work" can occur as a result of construction or maintenance and applies to contractors and outside agents as well as WNC personnel. This policy reflects the requirements of our property insurance.

Table of Contents:

  1. Scope
  2. Responsibilities
  3. Hot Work Procedures
  4. Record Keeping
  5. References
  6. Files/Forms

Section 1: Scope

  1. For the purpose of this policy, hot work is defined as any temporary operation involving open flames or producing heat and/or sparks. This includes, but is not limited to: grinding, cutting, brazing, soldering, thawing frozen pipes by torch, torch applied roofing and welding.
  2. This policy applies to all personnel on campus including contractors, outside agents and volunteers, who are involved within construction and maintenance activities and/or who may be involved in hot work activities.
  3. Contractors doing hot work shall have an equivalent hot work permit program or may comply with this program.
  4. This program does not apply to normal routine supervised activities in classrooms, laboratories and academic vocational shops that are designed and equipped for hot work operations. However the NFPA compliance of these areas shall be verified at least annually.

Section 2: Responsibilities

  1. Academic Director: The ultimate responsibility for the hot work permit program rests with the Academic Director. It is their responsibility to ensure that the program is carried out within their area of authority.
  2. Supervisors, Laboratory Supervisors, Project Leaders: Individuals who have a supervisory responsibility play a key role in the hot work permit program. They have responsibility for:
    1. Ensuring that their subordinates are trained and understand the applicable provisions of the program.
    2. Ensuring that their subordinates fulfill all requirements before any hot work is performed, including:a. Ensuring that the EH&S and Facilities departments is contacted and that they approve the Hot Work Permit.
      b. Ensuring that, where installed, the building fire alarm system is in working order.
      c. Ensuring that, where installed, the building fire sprinkler system is operational.
    3. Completing and obtaining EH&S approval for each Hot Work Permit issued.
    4. Ensuring that properly trained fire watches are assigned when necessary.
    5. Ensuring that all Hot Work Permit required precautions are in place.
    6. Ensuring that all Hot Work Permit completed copies are sent to the EH&S department to become a part of our building records.
  3. Individuals Performing Hot Work: Individuals performing the hot work play what is perhaps the most important role in the program. They are responsible for:
    1. Obtaining written approval from the EH&S Coordinator and the Faculties Director for the hot work.
    2. Ensuring that conditions are safe before commencing the hot work including that all permit required precautious are in place.
    3. Being prepared to contact the Facilities Director and the EH&S Coordinator should conditions change or warrant reassessment during the hot work project.
    4. Using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) while performing hot work (welding helmets, gloves, jackets, etc.).
    5. Completing the appropriate section(s) of the hot work permit.
    6. Making arrangements for trained fire watch and follow-up inspections from Public Safety.
  4. Firewatchers: Firewatchers are responsible for:
    1. Being trained and aware of the inherent hazards involved in the hot work. Including the dangers from energized fire systems.
    2. Ensuring that safe conditions are maintained during the hot work.
    3. Ensuring that appropriate fire extinguishers are readily available and in good working order.
    4. Knowing how to report a fire or other emergency situation.
    5. Maintaining the watch for at least 30 minutes after the work is completed arranging for follow-up inspections from Public Safety.
    6. Using the appropriate PPE
    7. Completing the appropriate sections of the hot work permit.
    8. Returning the completed hot work permit to their supervisor.
  5. Facilities Department: The Facilities department shall recognize its responsibility for safe usage of welding, cutting and other spark or flame producing equipment during hot work operations under their control or under State Public Works Department control and shall be responsible for:
    1. Establishing designated areas for welding, cutting, brazing, torch soldering and grinding operation where the potential fire danger is limited. At the Facilities Management Departments discretion, hot work conducted in these areas may occur under a general hot work permit, which is reissued on a regular basis.
    2. Establishing procedures for hot work in other areas.
    3. Designating at least one trained individual responsible for authorizing hot work permits in areas not specifically designated for hot work.
    4. Requiring employees performing hot work and their supervisors to be suitably trained in the safe operation of the equipment.
    5. Advising all contractors about flammable materials or hazardous conditions in areas where they will be working.
  6. Facilities Supervisors: Facilities supervisors are responsible for:
    1. Maintaining cutting or welding equipment is safe operating condition.
    2. Issuing hot work permits for any cutting, welding, brazing, torch soldering, grinding or open flame, heat or spark producing operations outside of the designated area(s).
    3. Ensuring the precautions listed on the Hot Work Permit are understood and followed by the individual performing the hot work.
    4. Informing outside contractors and service personnel of the expectations of this policy.
    5. Verifying that contractor personnel have the necessary hot work permits required for their work.
  7. Environmental Health and Safety Department (EH&S): The EH&S Department is responsible for:
    1. Monitoring compliance with this Hot Work Policy.
    2. Providing training for all involved in hot work at WNC.
    3. Insuring that Facilities understands the provisions and fire watches that must be maintained to currently follow the hot work policy.

Section 3: Hot Work Procedures

  1. Hot Work Permit Forms: The WNC Hot Work Permit form [see Appendix A).
  2. Prior To Hot Work: Several tasks must be performed before hot work begins. These include, but are not limited to:
    1. Inspecting the hot work area to identify any fire hazards.
    2. Remove all flammable or combustible materials within a thirty five-foot radius of the hot work.
    3. Properly shield combustibles that cannot be removed from the area with non-combustible blankets or other non-combustible materials.
    4. Seal all cracks and openings through which hot sparks or slag may enter. As an alternate means, a fire resistant shield may be used to block the openings.
    5. Sweep floor of all loose combustible debris.
    6. Placing non-combustible or flame resistant screens so as to protect personnel in adjacent work areas from heat, flames, radiant energy and welding splatter.
    7. Protect conveyer systems that may carry sparks of slag to other parts of the building.
    8. Mark the area so as to warn nearby personnel of the danger.
    9. Cover sprinkler heads directly above the hot work area with wet rags or other non-combustible materials so they will not be triggered during the work.
    10. Cover smoke detectors located in close proximity of the work area
    11. Identify conditions that if changed could increase the risk of fire.
  3. During Hot Work: During the hot work there are other precautions that must be taken:
    1. Appropriate fire extinguishing equipment shall be maintained in close proximity to the hot work for its entire duration, plus 30 minutes.
    2. Combustible floors shall be kept wet during the hot work.
    3. Store acetylene and other fuel cylinders in a secure and upright position.
    4. Place hoses so that they will not be crushed or damaged.
  4. After Hot Work: There are some responsibilities that must be undertaken after hot work is completed:
    1. The fire watch shall be maintained for at least 30 minutes following the completion of the hot work. If circumstances require, fire watches shall be maintained for periods longer than 30 minutes.
    2. Fire extinguishing equipment must remain accessible in the area until the fire watch is secured.
    3. Remove any covers from sprinkler heads immediately upon completion of the hot work.
    4. Remove covers from any smoke detectors immediately upon completion of the hot work.
    5. Completion of the appropriate section(s) of the hot work permit and the return of the completed form to the supervisor.
  5. Prohibited Hot Work Areas: Hot work activities are prohibited in the following areas:
    1. Occupied areas equipped with sprinkler systems that are out of order.
    2. Areas, including those with confined spaces, where atmospheres of explosive gases, vapors, or dusts exist or could accumulate.
    3. On metal walls, ceilings or roofs built of composite, combustible, and sandwich-type panel construction or having combustible coverings.
    4. On containers where flammable liquids, solids or vapors may be present.
    5. On pipes that are in contact with combustible walls, ceilings, roofs or partitions where heat by conduction can cause ignition.

Section 4: Record Keeping

  1. Hot Work Permits: All hot work permits shall be returned to EH&S for record retention. Records of hot work permits should be maintained for one calendar year. Hot work permits on record should be reviewed for program improvement or modification purposes prior to disposal.
  2. Training: Copies of records of all program related training should be maintained in the department personnel files. Copies of training records should be sent the EH&S Officer.

Section 5: References

  1. Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1910, Subpart Q
  2. State of Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry (1910, Subpart Q)
  3. Article 105.8.h.3, Uniform Fire Code
  4. NFPA 51b, Standard for Fire Prevention during Welding, Cutting. And other Hot Work

Section 6: Files/Forms

  1. Appendix A: Hot Works Permit

Date(s) Revised June 20, 2013; September 2, 2008; May 26, 2005; Date(s) Reviewed