Hot Work FAQs

The purpose of these FAQs is to guide the University on how to conduct hot work activities safely and provide guidance to meet the requirements of the University’s Hazard Management chapter, the Code of Practice for Welding Processes and Australian Standard 1674.1-1997 Safety in welding and allied processes - Fire precautions (AS 1674).

(Printable version)

 

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  • What is Hot Work?

    All hot work activities require that a risk assessment is conducted in accordance with the University’s Hazard Management process.  A checklist of requirements needs to be completed to ensure that:

    • no hot work is undertaken in a hazardous area;
    • all combustible/flammable substances are removed from and around the hot work area or can be adequately protected;
    • the area is properly ventilated;
    • all tags, warning signs and the permit to undertake hot work are prominently displayed; and
    • fire/smoke detection systems have been isolated (if applicable).
  • What qualifications and training is required to conduct Hot Work?

    All workers must:

    • ensure they are competent and qualified to carry out the work required;
    • assist the Responsible Officer (see 'Who is a Responsible Officer and what are their responsibilities in relation to hot work activities?') for the activity in:
      • conducting the site inspection and completion of the Hot Work Permit (Word Doc/PDF) to work;
      • ensuring that all necessary controls are in place (as identified by the risk assessment); and
      • enforcing appropriate precautions to limit access by unauthorised persons (including Lock-out and Tag-out systems, see Plant/ Equipment Safety Management);
    • check that the required equipment is in place in the work area and in a suitable condition for use (including fire resistant shielding and flash screens if appropriate);
    • use personal protective equipment and other equipment as required and consistent with the manufacturers’ procedures/recommendations and training; and
    • ensure they are trained in the use of fire extinguishers.


    All contractors must also:

    • have a Hot Work and Permit to Work system in place which meets the requirements of AS 1674; and
    • provide a copy of the completed Permit to Work to the University staff member who engaged their services together with all hazard management documentation (e.g. Job Safety Analysis).
  • What are the requirements for performing Hot Work in welding bays?

    Work undertaken in University areas that are specifically designed for hot work such as engineering workshop welding bays must be monitored to ensure that:

    • where hot work constitutes a fire or explosion hazard, the requirements of AS1674 are observed;
    • any flammable and combustible liquids are stored in accordance with Australian Standard 1940 - The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids; and
    • fire extinguishers are provided in accordance with Section 5 of AS1674 (i.e. be appropriate for the particular type of fire hazard, be located within 10 m of the work area., comply with the relevant Australian Standard, be adequately maintained, be used in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturer or supplier of the equipment).

    For more information please see AS 2444-2001 Portable fire extinguishers and fire blankets - Selection and location  and AS 1940-2004 The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids

  • What is a total Fire Ban Day?

    A Total Fire Ban Day may be imposed by the Fire Service at any time of the year restricting the hot work activites, and other activities, you undertake which may result in igniting a fire.

    For details about what you can and cannot do during a fire ban please see the CFS Website.  Restrictions vary across the state – visit CFS for more details.

  • Are there any requirements for performing Hot Work in confined spaces?

    Hot work in confined spaces shall be performed in accordance with WHS Regulations 62-77 the Code of Practice for Confined Spaces, Australian Standard 2865 “Confined Space” and AS 1674. An additional Permit to enter a Confined Space is also required.

    For further information and guidance on requirements for Confined Space entry, please refer to the Confined Space FAQs or HSW Team.

  • What is a Hot Work Fire Watcher and when is one required?

    A fire watcher will observe the hot work area to detect and prevent the spread of any fire produced by the hot work process. The fire watcher should be a qualified person proficient in the operation of fire extinguishing equipment and conversant with the local area emergency procedures.

    If hot work is to be conducted within 15 metres of any combustible material, a permit must have fire watch procedures in place, including a nominated fire watcher regardless of protection provided.

  • What are a Hot Work Fire Watcher's responsibilities?

    • Do not leave the job unless properly relieved by an authorised person.
    • Ensure that an appropriate extinguisher is located within 10m of the work area and is used (if required) in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturer or supplier of the equipment.
    • Use Personal Protective Equipment (e.g. eye protection to protect against flashes where work involves arc welding, cutting or arc gouging).
    • Inspect adjoining compartments, if heat transfer is possible.
    • Maintain a continuous fire watch over the hot work, paying special attention to any changes in weather conditions (such as increased wind), and whether any actions have been taken that may lead to a hazardous situation in the hot-work area.
    • Take immediate action to combat any outbreak of fire that may occur and alert the Responsible Officer if not the Fire Watcher.
    • Maintain fire watch for at least 30 minutes after the completion of the hot work.
  • Who is a Responsible Officer and what are their responsibilities in relation to hot work activities?

    A Responsible Officer is a person who has a satisfactory knowledge of the fire, explosion and toxicity hazards associated with hot work in hazardous areas and who is adequately trained and experienced in the testing procedures and precautions necessary for the elimination of any risk involved.  A Responsible Officer must be a University of Adelaide staff member.

    Before hot work is undertaken the Responsible Officer is required to:

    • conduct a risk assessment of planned hot work activities following the University’s Hazard Management process in consultation with the operators;
    • complete the checklist of requirements (Word Doc/PDF) to ensure:
      • no hot work is undertaken in a hazardous area;
      • all combustible/flammable substances are removed from and around the hot work area or can be adequately protected;
      • the area is properly ventilated;
      • all tags, warning signs and the permit to undertake hot work are prominently displayed;
      • fire and emergency systems are in place; and
      • fire/smoke detection systems have been isolated (if applicable)
    • issue a permit number;
    • identify and attach any further permits that may be required e.g. Confined Space Entry, CFS permit;
    • determine if a fire watcher is required;
      Note - If hot work is to be conducted within 15m of any combustible material, the permit must have fire watch procedures in place, including a nominated fire watcher, regardless of protection provided.
    • sign the hot work permit when all criteria specified on the permit has been met; and
    • ensure that each person associated with hot work is conversant with the precautions to be taken as specified on the hot work permit and with the safety requirements of the site.


    During hot work the Responsible Officer is required to:

    • supervise the hot work from commencement to completion;
    • ensure that only authorised operators enter the hot work site;
    • ensure that hot work is not conducted outside the area specified on the hot work permit;
    • monitor changes in wind direction and any other potential hazards where applicable;
    • immediately stop the work and withdraw the hot work permit, if a hazardous situation is observed or in the event of an emergency situation;
    • remain onsite for the duration of the hot work activity; and
    • amend the current hot work permit in the event that:
      • the hot work is to extend beyond the currency of the permit; or
      • ceases for a period of more than 2 hours; or
      • the work location changes.
    • sign/initial all changes on the permit.


    On completion of hot work the Responsible Officer is required to:

    • dispose of any contaminants (including cleaning fluids/materials in preparation for the hot work and after the hot work has been completed) following the University Chemical Safety Management process;
    • inspect the site to ensure that no smouldering materials remain and the site is safe;
    • sign the permit to accept that close out requirements have been completed and no further work is authorised;
    • ensure that fire protection systems have been re-activated (where applicable); and
    • maintain a copy of the closed permit on file together with the risk assessment in accordance with the School/Branch Health and Safety records management system (e.g. with the Health and Safety Officer or delegate).
  • What action should be taken in the event of a fire emergency during hot work?

    In the event of a fire emergency all activities should cease immediately and all equipment turned off.  If it is safe to do so, the fire should be extinguished and any combustibles which could escalate the emergency should be removed.  Operators should alert the Responsible Officer as soon as possible.  The Responsible Officer should ensure that a watch is maintained in the area of the fire until it is considered that re-ignition is not possible. They should also ensure that no further work is carried out until effective fire equipment is available for use (e.g. Additional extinguishers obtained).

    If the fire cannot be extinguished immediately, the Responsible Officer should ensure that the Fire Service are notified (0) 000, in addition to Security (ext 35444) and notify the HSW Team.

  • How do I report an Hot Work incident?

    Ensure circumstances contributing to the fire and the results from any subsequent investigation are recorded in accordance with the University’s Incident Reporting and Investigation process.

    In the event of a fire, notify the HSW Team as soon as practicable.

Further information

Please contact your local HSW team.