When hot work is introduced to a job site, hazards are sure to come with it. Although some hazardous materials serve a functional purpose in completing tasks, they cannot be in the area when hot work is taking place.
According to the hazard alert, “between 2005 and 2015, there were 85 deaths from fires or explosions, and 28 of those deaths were from hot work.”
Those risks aren’t going to go away, but employers and personnel can take precautions to mitigate potential hazards. Hot work must be scheduled, and all personnel are made aware of when and where it will happen. Moreover, risks should be identified and addressed ahead of hot work activities.
Identify Hazardous Materials – and Label Them!
Under the United State Federal Law, all containers housing hazardous chemicals need to be labeled with Safety Data Sheets (SDS). SDS provide information about the contents of containers: how to handle the materials, potential hazards, and what to do if there is a spill. Labels should be placed in a location where all personnel can access the information and be aware of proper handling procedures.
Fireproof Yourself and Your Surroundings
When performing hot work, sparks and slag have the potential to land on flammable materials and ignite. We can’t eliminate the sparks and slag, but we can mitigate the ignition risk by wearing fire retardant clothing and performing hot work in a safety enclosure.
Hot work safety enclosures, like the Petro-Habitat, isolate hot work from ignition sources. All panels of the habitat are made from highly fire-resistant materials that are certified to ANSI/FM 4950 and are capable of withstanding continuous heat up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Monitor the Air
We all have a heightened awareness for things we can see. But what about matter that is invisible to the eye? Gasses can ignite just as easily as solids and liquids. Air monitoring equipment should be checked before hot work occurs and monitored while it is taking place. A multi-gas meter can detect flammable gasses and vapors in the atmosphere.
Have a Plan
Creating a hot work safety plan will ensure that the job site abides by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regulations. Safety plans detail a company’s responsibilities and procedures surrounding hot work.
It is crucial for all employers and employees to make sure that all potential hazards have been addressed. When it is not feasible to shut down operations for hot work, it is best to bring in a hot work safety enclosure like the Petro-Habitat.