Give Now

Office of Risk Management

Environmental Health & Safety

Hot Work

SMU Hot Work Program SF-016

SMU Hot Work Permit SF-016-1

Hot Work is any temporary maintenance, renovation, or construction operations using gas– or electric–powered equipment, which produces flames, sparks, or heat that is sufficient to start a fire or ignite flammable/combustible materials. This includes operations such as cutting, welding, thermite welding, brazing, soldering, grinding, thermal spraying, thawing pipe, installation of torch–applied roof systems or any other similar operation.

An authorized work permit is required prior to initiating hot work activities in all undesignated hot work areas.

Permit to Work

As part of SMU’s Permit To Work Program, performing Hot Work operations requires significant hazard controls to ensure all will remain safe during work. The workers must use the SMU Hot Work Permit prior to commencing work. A Permit may be retrieved at from the Office of Risk Management, the District Manager, the Project Manager, or online here EHS Form SF-016-1

The Permit(s) application is submitted by the person performing the work (PA) to the Issuing Authority (IA/AA) or the permit to work authority (PTWA) for approval by end of business 1 day preceding the expected work day. Approval for the permit will be determined by SMU and the approved permit may be obtained at the Office of Risk Management or the project supervisor the day the work is performed. Approval of the permit must take place within one day of the work being performed. The PA MUST perform a final assessment for safety prior to commencing work.  If any conditions have changed since the permit was issued, it must be cancelled and reissued.   

Performing Authority is responsible for preparing the area for safe work. Work will not commence until all conditions listed on the permit are met.  An existing Hot Work Permit can be extended for two consecutive shifts, not to exceed 12 hours per shift if, at the beginning of each shift, both the Issuing Authority and the Performing Authority confirm that conditions remain unchanged, permit restrictions are met, and it is safe to do the work. They both must date and initial the permit in the appropriate box on the Permit.  Permits will be closed and recorded by the Issuing Authority and forwarded to the Office of Risk Management upon permit closure.

Hazard Assessment

A form QF-001-1 Job Safety Analysis will be utilized on every hot work performed by SMU employees. Workers must still complete Hot Work Permit SF-016-1, but may use their own JSA program.  If there is an existing template for the job task being performed, the existing JSA may be reviewed and updated for relevancy to the current hazardous conditions and planning required.

Refer to SMU EHS JSA Program Q-001 for more information. Obtain a work permit prior to conducting hot work in areas involving equipment that has previously contained (or has a potential to contain) hazardous materials such as explosive vapors, flammable or combustible liquids, gases, or other hazardous materials.

The Performing Authority (PA) must initiate the Permit To Work process by completing the General section of the Hot Work Permit.

The PA specifies the required restriction(s) by checking all applicable boxes in the Safety Requirements and Checklist section of the permit.

The required restrictions for a Hot Work Permit include verifying that:

  • Fire Extinguisher is available.
  • An initial reading of the current atmospheric conditions must be noted on the Hot Work Permit if the work is performed indoors, in a confined space, or near piping and ventilation from buildings. Flammable vapor levels must be measured at or below 10% of the LEL.
  • Continuous air monitoring must be completed and documented every 30 minutes if performing Hot Work within a Confined Space.
  • Gas testing must be conducted as necessary to assure there is no accumulation of hazardous vapors. The atmosphere must be tested either continuously or at a maximum interval of every two hours as specified on the permit.
  • If any level of LEL is detected, stop work, locate the source and take action to assure that conditions will not exceed 10% of the LEL.

The requirements for an Open Flame Hot Work Permit include:

  • A Fire Watch present.
  • Fire Extinguishers are available.
  • Drains and vents within 50 feet of the proposed hot work must be covered with a material suitable for preventing sparks from entering the drains and to prevent any potential flammable gases coming out of drain or vent.
  • As a minimum, a 20 lb ABC fire extinguisher must be immediately available.
  • Open flame hot work must not be allowed during the start up or shut down of equipment as things can change fast, resulting in unexpected releases of flammable hydrocarbons.
  • An initial reading of the current atmospheric conditions must be noted on the Hot Work Permit if the work is performed indoors, in a confined space, or near piping and ventilation from buildings. Flammable vapor levels must be measured at or below 10% of the LEL.
  • When open flame hot work is performed near (within 35 feet) a tank, vessel or any storage container with hydrocarbons, the tank MUST be isolated from taking receipts and mixers must be turned off (recommending one hour prior) before open flame hot work can occur.
  • Continuous air monitoring must be completed and documented every 30 minutes if performing Hot Work within a Confined Space.
  • Gas testing must be conducted as necessary to assure there is no accumulation of hazardous vapors. The atmosphere must be tested either continuously or at a maximum interval of every two hours as specified on the permit.
  • If any level of LEL is detected, stop work, locate the source and take action to assure that conditions will not exceed 10% of the LEL.

The Issuing Authority may specify a fire watch for any hot work due to the nature of the work.

 

The Performing Authority must assure the following. In addition, the Issuing Authority must verify any other requirements or approval(s) deemed necessary to protect the workers and the facility, such as:

  • Lockout/tagout requirements, including blinds installed and/or lines disconnected as necessary.
  • Protection of the area beneath elevated work locations from hot metal sparks, slag, and electrode stubs. Barricade the area or catch the slag in a wetted tarp or other suitable material, as necessary. The same precautions must be observed with regard to cracks or holes in walls, open doorways, and open or broken windows.
  • Relocation of all movable combustible fire hazards, in the vicinity of the hot work, to a safe location. All sources of combustible materials must be relocated at least 35 feet from the work site. Where relocation is impracticable, protect combustibles with flameproof covers or otherwise shield with guards or curtains.
  • Protection of ventilation ducts and conveyor systems that might carry sparks to distant combustibles.
  • Use of fire-resistant shields or guards when welding or cutting near walls, partitions, ceilings, or roofs of combustible materials.
  • Measures to be taken to prevent ignition of combustibles on either side of a metal wall, partition, ceiling, or roof, due to conduction or radiation. If combustibles are not relocated, a fire watch must be stationed within sight of the combustibles.

First Aid Equipment

First-aid equipment shall be available at all times. All injuries shall be reported as soon as possible for medical attention.

Fire Watch         

A fire watch is required for all cutting, grinding, and welding operations conducted outside a designated hot work area. A fire watch is required whenever an open flame is present, regardless of being in a designated hot work area.

Observing and monitoring inside and outside the workspace are the only duties of the fire watch.  The fire watch must remain and attend to the worksite of the hot work for at least 30 minutes following the cutting or welding.

Fire extinguishing equipment must be available in the immediate vicinity of any hot work. This equipment may consist of hand-portable or wheeled fire extinguishers, water hose lines, or other appropriate equipment for the flammable/combustible material exposed.

Personnel performing hot work should be familiar with the location and should know facility alarm/notification procedures in case of fire or other emergency.

More than one fire watch may be required, especially when slag may be thrown a long distance (i.e. when working in overhead racks, or high elevations).

Authorizing Hot Work to Proceed

An authorized work permit is required prior to initiating hot work activities in all undesignated hot work areas. Conduct all hot work in a designated hot work area when possible.

The Performing Authority assures all the required fire and safety equipment is in place and in working condition before work begins.

The Performing Authority assures the Fire Watch has been trained and instructed to stop hot work if conditions change that could endanger workers.

The Issuing Authority verifies the flammable gas tests have been completed and conducts a final inspection to assure all permit conditions are satisfied and that the person conducting hot work understands the restrictions and the permit has been completed.

The Issuing Authority reviews the permit and communicates all the conditions and restrictions to others within the job boundaries. The Issuing Authority then signs in the approval section of the permit.

The Performing Authority posts the permit at the job site.

The permit is valid for one shift, not to exceed 12 hours. The permit may be extended for two consecutive shifts, (not to exceed 12 hours per shift).

Permit Extension

A permit may be extended to the next shift if:

  • Conditions remain unchanged and it is safe to do the work
  • The IA and the PA confirm that conditions are safe and the permit restrictions continue to be met. Both must date and sign in the approval section of the permit; and
  • The Qualified Gas Tester conducts flammable gas tests and records the date and time the tests were taken, the tests results, and initials in the Gas Testing Plan and Results section of the permit
  • The Fire Watches for the extended shift are properly trained and the training is documented (verbally or written, if needed).
  • The permit must not be extended for more than two consecutive shifts

Indoor and Confined Space Hot Work

Before cutting and welding or other hot work indoors or within a confined space the Worksite Supervisor will inspect, monitor and verify the following requirements have been met:

  • If necessary, verify that the Confined Space Entry Permit is valid.
  • All Hot Work operations will be adequately ventilated to prevent the accumulation of toxic materials or possible oxygen deficiency. Mechanical ventilation shall be provided and should not be less than 2000 cubic feet per minute per welder if performed in a Confined Space.
  • Monitoring of spaces adjacent to the permit space in which the hot work is to be performed, if they last contained a flammable liquid, vapor, gas, or have been inerted.
  • All piping has been properly isolated and purged or inerted.
  • Where possible, all combustibles, including any dry residues, in the vicinity of the hot work will be removed to a safe place or, if they cannot be moved, such items will be covered by a non-combustible blanket, flame-resistant tarpaulin, or other means to prevent ignition from heat, sparks, and slag.
  • In a permit space having last contained dry materials that create an explosive atmosphere when dispersed in air, the Hot Work Permit will be issued only after the Entry Supervisor, through personal inspection, has ensured that the following requirements are satisfied:
  1. All loose dust has been removed from the permit space and all surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned
  2. The permit space has been isolated mechanically to prevent reintroduction of the dry material
  3. Adequate fire extinguishing equipment is available at the site.
  • When cutting or welding operations must take place, only the torch or welding leads should be taken into the confined space. All compressed gas cylinders and welding machines must remain outside of the confined space.
  • Cylinder valves shall be kept closed, depressurized and hoses removed from the confined space area during lunch and other breaks. Lines must be disconnected at the end of shift. When arc welding is suspended for any substantial period of time, electrodes should be removed from holders, and the holders carefully placed so that accidental contact cannot occur.
  • The arc welding machine should be disconnected from its power source.
  • After welding operations are completed, the welder should mark the hot metal, if necessary, to warn others of the burn hazard.
  • If hot work is to be done in or on a space that has contained a flammable liquid, vapor, or gas or adjacent to such a space, both will be cleaned or inerted.
  1. Care must be taken in using inerting gases since they will create oxygen deficient atmospheres.
  2. After cleaning or inerting, the Entry Supervisor will monitor for flammable vapors or gases and oxygen deficiency prior to starting hot work at the beginning of each day, shift or following a shutdown period. In addition periodic monitoring may be required.
  3. If the concentration of flammable vapors exceeds 10 % of the LEL or the oxygen level becomes deficient, hot work will be stopped until the source of the problem is located and resolved or sufficient ventilation is provided to maintain acceptable entry conditions.
 Hot Work Permit Flow Chart

Resources

SMU Hot Work Program SF-016

SMU Hot Work Permit SF-016-1