Hot work permit requirements are necessary for team members to ensure that any jobs that might trigger a fire are appropriately handled. However, several considerations and regulations need to be addressed, and it’s not likely that your employees will dig too deep. We’ve created this convenient guide to help you manage your hot work permits.
Hot Work Permits are documents used to record and track hot work processes. The intent is to provide a document that contains vital information about the workers, location, type of work, and safety protocol followed to prevent fires.
This guide will discuss the basic requirements for a hot work permit and how best to implement a hot work permit process into your operations. We’ll provide you with some tips and best practices that will help you ensure compliance, safety, and efficiency. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- Hot Work Permit Requirements
- Hot Work Permit Regulatory Bodies and Standards By Country
- Four Steps To Implementing Hot Work Permit Processes
- Best Practices for Managing Hot Work Permits
Hot Work Permit Requirements
Although most countries have their own regulations and requirements (see the next section for country-specific rules and regulatory bodies), all follow the basic premise of the NFPA standards. So, although not legally binding in many countries, the industry would do well to use the NFPA standards as a common baseline and adjust them to the requirements outlined in their country/state/province/territory, or region.
The basic requirements in most countries for hot work permit requirements are as follows.
- The company/facility team member health and safety manual documented a hot work permit process.
- The hot work permit process is administered and managed by a competently trained and responsible individual.
- The hot work permit is issued by management before any hot work process.
- The hot work permit will cover the essential steps to ensuring safe working conditions for the duration of the hot work.
- The hot work permit will include the following:
- The name of the person performing the hot work
- The location of the hot work processes
- The duration of the hot work process and work date, including start and finish times.
- The nature of the work (welding, cutting, etc.).
- The name of the person issuing the hot work permit.
- The name of the person performing the fire watch (if different from the person performing the hot work).
- As mentioned, a checklist or steps is required to work safely. These should include items such as:
- Checking the work area for flammable materials and removing them.
- Installing welding screens or other protective devices.
- Sanctioning off the work area to avoid pedestrian injuries.
- Including an appropriate fire extinguisher or other fire-stopping devices within a reasonable distance for easy access during hot work processes.
Are Hot Work Permits Required?
If you are curious if a hot work permit is required, you should assume it. Depending on the jurisdiction and nature of work, a permit may or may not be required. However, it’s best to err on the side of caution regarding safety. When in doubt, get a hot work permit out.
We’ve got you covered if you need a hot work permit template.
See our Hot Work Permit Template here.
Hot Work Permit Regulatory Bodies and Standards By Country
Similar to how Canada manages things, the Australian government has a similar structure for regulating hot work processes. Each of the six states and two territories has its own regulatory bodies and standards per state and territory. However, similar to other countries, Australia also follows similar standards. The primary difference is that the NFPA standards don’t legally apply in Australia. Australia has its own regulations following the FPAA (Fire Protection Association Australia).
Regulations in Australia for hot work processes are regulated and enforced by the state or territory. However, many of the regulations are similar or the same as those put forth by the NFPA in the United States. The national regulatory body for hot work processes in Australia is Safe Work Australia, responsible for developing national policy.
The hot work processes fall under the jurisdiction of the WHS Act (Model Work Health and Safety Act) in Australia. According to the Safe Work Australia website, all but Victoria have signed on to follow the act.
As mentioned above, each state and territory is responsible for enforcing the act. However, all follow the same principles outlined in the Safe Work Australia Welding Processes Code of Practice document regarding hot work processes. Although there are minor variations in the language, the intent remains to protect workers and prevent fires and incidents.
Canadian legislation regarding hot work processes follows the NFPA Standard 51B, entitled “Fire Prevention in the Use of Cutting and Welding Processes.” Canada also abides by CSA Group global standards. In Canada, each province is responsible for maintaining compliance with the OSH (Occupational Health and Safety Act). Following these regulations, businesses and industries keep workers safe.
The regulatory body is administered at the provincial level. For example, the provincial labor board mandates the regulations in Ontario, Canada. For information on the federal level, the Government of Canada, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), has further information for both employers and employees.
Per province, standards apply but follow the following standards:
The United Kingdom holds similar standards to the NFPA Standard 51B, although the NFPA standard is not legally binding in the United Kingdom. Instead, the UK has its own regulations outlined in the COMAH 2015 standards. The focus in the UK is for the industry to implement permit-to-work systems (hot work permit processes) to control the risk of injury and property damage during hot work procedures.
The United Kingdom regulates hot work processes via the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Although the HSE has specific publications and regulations for many scenarios, like hot work at docks, for example, the concepts remain clear and basically the same as outlined in the HSE publication “Fire safety in construction” and also in “Safety in gas welding, cutting, and similar processes.”
United States Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Enforced regionally by state OSHA office/jurisdiction.
Occupational Safety and Health Standards 1910 Subpart Q – Welding, Cutting, and Brazing
Four Steps To Implementing Hot Work Permit Processes
Implementing hot work processes and procedures is more complex a task than expected. Here’s an essential how-to guide to implementing your new hot work procedures into your organization.
Step 1. Draft procedures to include in your health and safety manual.
By drafting the procedures, you comply with most government regulations about the documentation of health and safety policies. Most countries require documentation of these policies. Similarly, documenting these policies also helps organizations to:
- Train employees and contractors on facility safety regulations.
- Provide proof of company safety policy and due diligence.
- Create a uniform process, so all departments and individuals have a baseline to follow for hot work safety processes, no matter their department or role.
Step 2. Obtain the right equipment.
Before implementing a hot work procedure, you must ensure you have the right equipment. Here’s a list of some of the more common equipment requirements for safe hot work procedures:
- Fire extinguishers (of the appropriate type/class for the operation) – to extinguish the fire.
- Welding screens – to prevent welding flash to onlookers, pedestrians, and bystanders.
- Welding or fire blankets – to prevent unmovable flammables from obtaining damage during hot work procedures.
- Pylons, caution tape, and signage – to cordon off an area, provide notice to passers-by, and provide visual warnings.
- PPE – appropriate personal protective equipment for workers performing hot work processes.
- Hot work permits – to document and control as much as possible to avoid incidents. You can download a copy of our Hot Work Permit Template here.
Step 3. Assign responsibility.
Following the acquisition of your safety equipment, you will need to assign a responsible and trained individual to oversee the hot work permit assignment process. That individual will assign the hot work permits to workers and manage the process accordingly.
Step 4. Train employees and contractors.
The next stage is to train your team (employees and contractors alike). This stage is one of the most essential, if not the most critical. With the appropriate training, your team will follow the hot work permit process, and the entire endeavor will fall into the realm of hazardous practice. We recommend creating a system whereby new staff and new contractors face mandatory training on an annual basis. Maintaining training records is imperative as a part of your organization’s due diligence in maintaining safe operations.
Best Practices for Managing Hot Work Permits
Hot work can be hot stuff – and hot stuff needs hot supervision! That’s why hot work permits are so essential to get right. The proper management of hot work permits ensures the safety and reduces the risk of any potential incidents or hazardous occurrences. Here, we present best practices for hot work permit management that every company should follow to ensure a safe working environment.
Identify Hot Work Activities
Hot works involve any activity where heat, sparks, or flames are generated in an area not necessarily specifically designed for such action. It includes welding, cutting, grinding, soldering, and brazing operations. When these activities occur in confined spaces, the risks increase significantly and must be monitored accordingly.
Proper Training & Documentation
I just can’t stress enough the importance of training. Before hot work begins, all participants must be appropriately trained and qualified in hot work safety. It includes knowing when hot work permits are required and what documentation should be included. Additionally, verify that each hot worker wears the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Assess Risks & Prepare Hot Work Permits
In order to ensure a safe working environment for hot works, hazardous materials must be identified, assessed, and managed accordingly. The permit-issuing authority should check that all risks have been considered before granting permission to start hot work activities.
All hot works shall include an inspection of the workplace by a competent person who can provide written certification that it is safe to perform hot work at a given location. Similarly, a subsequent post-work inspection is a must to ensure no smoldering embers have taken root.
Monitor & Review
You or your assigned supervisor should regularly monitor the hot work permit to ensure that all hot work activities are conducted per the hot work permit regulations and requirements. Once the hot works processes end, you or your assigned supervisor should review the hot work permit, and any changes or adjustments should be made accordingly. Similarly, it would be best if you only considered hot work complete after the fire watch process completion.
Use A Software Platform Designed To Manage Hot Work and Incidents Procedures
There is no better way to manage hot work processes than a robust inspection application like 1st Reporting.
Our application is well-suited to help you and your team:
- Perform effective and efficient inspections, including hot work
- Document and record data, images, and even video when an assessment or hot work process warrants the requirement.
- Automatically notify assigned supervisory staff upon completion of hot work processes or examinations.
- Allow you to create custom forms, checklists, or documents to suit your organization and process needs. Maybe you need a custom hot work permit tailored to a specific procedure. In that case, our custom form builder (built into our app) is the perfect tool to create the exact form or checklist your organization needs.
- But don’t take my word for it; try the app today and see how 1st Reporting should be your first choice for hot work permit and inspection management solutions.
By following these best practices for hot work permit management, companies can reduce the risk of potential incidents or hazardous occurrences when working with hot materials or processes. With proper training and documentation, assessment of risks, monitoring, and review – your team can perform hot works safely and successfully!