Hot work

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Hot work is a process that can be a source of ignition when flammable material is present or can be a fire hazard regardless of the presence of flammable material in the workplace. Common hot work processes involve welding, soldering, cutting, brazing burning and the use of powder-actuated tools or similar fire producing operations outside of designated hot work areas. When flammable materials are not present, industrial processes such as grinding and drilling become cold work processes.[1]

In some countries, such as the UK and Canada,[2] a hot work permit is required for hot work.[1] The purpose of a hot work permit is to effect "the employer's written authorization to perform hot working operations".[3] The UK's Health and Safety Executive suggests that a hot work permit should specify:

  • what work will be done;
  • how and when it is to be done;
  • what safety and health precautions are needed;
  • who is responsible for checking it is safe for the work to start;
  • who will check that the work is done safely;
  • who is responsible for confirming that work is complete and there is no longer a risk from, or to, the people doing the work.[4]


When performing hot work, welders must assess the risk of fire in the work area and implement certain safety precautions if a threat is detected. The establishment of a fire watch is the most important precaution a welder can take against an accidental fire on a job site. Either the welder himself or an appointed laborer must become designated for a fire watch and stay in the area of the hot work for no less than 2 hours after the last of the hot work has been completed. This designated fire watch person must have a fire extinguisher and access to phone in case of a fire.[5]


In the United States, OSHA maintains regulations for hot work in the marine industrial setting. The following regulations apply:

Other relevant literature is:

  • API RP 2009 : Safe Welding, Cutting, and Hot Work Practices in the Petroleum and Petrochemical Industries, published by the American Petroleum Institute (API).[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hughes, Phil; Ferrett, Ed (2005), Introduction to health and safety at work: the handbook for the NEBOSH national general certificate (2nd ed.), Butterworth-Heinemann, p. 84, ISBN 978-0-7506-6623-7.
  2. ^ "Welding - Hot Work : OSH Answers". 14 February 2022.
  3. ^ Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 1910.146 - Permit-required confined spaces, accessed 7 December 2019
  4. ^ Health and Safety Executive, Safety in gas welding, cutting and similar processes, INDG297, published May 2012, accessed 7 December 2019
  5. ^ Hedrick, Steve. "Fire prevention during hot work" (PDF). Weld World.
  6. ^ API, RP 2009: Safe Welding, Cutting, and Hot Work Practices in the Petroleum and Petrochemical Industries, accessed 18 March 2020

External links[edit]