There is one thing that all hot work jobs have in common – the danger! Hot work needs to be well planned and implemented to ensure workers’ safety because of the inherent risks. Below are some key ways to protect your team from the dangers of the job.
1. Use a Hot Work Safety Enclosure
This is our area of expertise, so trust us when we say these are a safety must-have. Not only do hot work safety enclosures (HWSE) eliminate the need to shut down operations, they also ensure a clean, safe, hazard-free area for hot work to be carried out. Moreover, these enclosures are flexible and reusable. For more information about our HWSE options, check out our website.
2. Use a Gas Detector
Hot work can easily result in fires, or worse, explosions. So it’s important to mitigate as much risk as possible, and one way to do that is with consistent gas monitoring. Workers can suffer severe burns resulting from the accumulation of flammable gas in the hot work area. With the aid of a gas detector, the hot work area can be monitored for dangerous gas build-up. It is recommended that work be stopped immediately “if a flammable or combustible gas exceeds 10 percent of its lower explosive limit.”
3. Test the Area
In areas where flammable liquids or gases are stored or handled, it is imperative that any equipment and piping is drained and/or properly disposed of before hot work is started. If hot work is going to be done near any storage tanks or other containers, make sure they are tested and monitored for the duration of the hot work. Lastly, identify and remove all potentially flammable materials from the hot work area before beginning work.
4. Test the Equipment
To prevent electrical shock, which could result in severe burns or even death, all equipment must be tested and certified regularly, but at the very least before use.
5. Wear Proper PPE
Any personnel operating in a hot work environment should be outfitted with the proper PPE according to the hazards of the job. This includes, but is not limited to: face shield, fire-resistant cover-all, safety boot, and hot work approved hand gloves.
6. Enforce Training and Safety Policies
Without proper training and well-defined and enforced safety policies, none of the above will be as effective as it should. All personnel must be trained on hot work policies/procedures, proper use and maintenance of equipment, job-specific hazards, and most importantly, emergency protocols. All personnel must have a complete understanding of the dangers of their jobs and the steps that must be taken to lessen them.
7. Emergency Procedures
No one wants to find themselves stuck in the worst-case scenario, but if it happens, employees need to know what to do in case of an emergency. Conduct an initial assessment of the situation, and if it is out of your control, evacuate the area immediately.
Want to learn more about improving safety during your hot work operations? Contact us today and we will be happy to help!