Hot Work Permitting Procedure
This procedure is designed to ensure that spark and flame producing construction and maintenance activities do not present an undue fire hazard to people and UTMB property.
This procedure applies to all UTMB and contract personnel managing and performing construction or maintenance work.
This information is designed to define UTMB’s approach to controlling fire hazards resulting from work activities that have the potential for producing sparks, flames or significant heat.
This policy sets forth the procedure to obtain written authorization to perform such work and establishes the minimum hazard controls that must be utilized during the work.
policy covers the following types of construction or maintenance work:
This procedure does not cover such activities as cooking, the use of electric soldering irons, autoclaves, Bunsen burners or other lab equipment. This procedure does not cover other activities that normally occur in a building (e.g. cauterizing, other lab work, etc.)
This Procedure does not apply to out door activities when they are suitably located more than 35 feet from buildings of combustible construction. It does not necessarily apply to unoccupied buildings under construction.
All persons involved in the Hot Work process shall recognize their mutual responsibility for safety during hot-work activities. All persons are also responsible for promptly turning in fire alarms. Specific responsibilities are as follows:
Each area department is responsible for:
Supervisors are responsible for:
|Persons Receiving Hot Work Permits||
person performing Hot Work is responsible for:
|Contract Supervisor or Superintendent||
contract superintendent of the job is responsible for:
|Environmental Health and Safety||
Health and Safety (EHS) is responsible for:
Designating and providing a PAI for contract work
(this may be a FOAM trained representative).
Periodically auditing the hot work process
Providing training to persons who will issue permits, which will
Hazard controls and surveying areas to write permits
Work flow and groups of PAI’s
· Specifying specific controls to be implemented by contractor personnel before issuance of the permit
|Permit Authorizing Individuals (PAI)||
The PAI’s principal
responsibility is to specify which hazard controls are applicable and
appropriate. A PAI will be an appropriately trained
UTMB employee or UTMB trained in-house (“nested”) contractor.
Except under specific authorization by the Leader of OS & FP
and a Leader of FOAM, contractors may not fulfill this role.
The PAI is responsible to:
Determine the presence of combustible or otherwise ignitable materials
Ensure the protection of ignitable materials by the following:
Have the work moved to a location free from combustible materials
If the work cannot be moved, ensure the combustible materials are
moved to a safe distance or have the materials shielded against ignition
Require other appropriate controls to prevent the ignition of
Verify that a Fire Watch has been assigned
Verify that an extinguisher is available in the immediate area where
hot work is being performed
Has the authority to stop work if unsafe conditions develop
Determine when it is safe to not have a separate individual performing
fire watch duties during operations
Updating long-term permits on a daily basis.
Determine the acceptable length of time for the fire watch to remain
after work has ceased. This
shall not be less than 15 minutes and is typically 30 minutes with
activities such as welding or cutting.
Notify EHS when a
permit is filled out; this is performed automatically using the
electronic copy of the permit
The Fire Watch has the responsibility to:
Be aware of the inherent hazards of the work site and of hot work
Ensure that safe conditions are maintained during hot work
Has the authority to stop work if unsafe conditions develop
Have an extinguisher ready and ensure it is ready for use
Has the training on the use of extinguishing equipment
Be familiar with the facility, procedures for sounding the alarm in
the event of a fire and turning in such an alarm immediately when
Watch for fires in all exposed areas and try to extinguish them when
they are within the capacity of the fire equipment available.
Should the fire be beyond the equipment/employees capability, the
Fire Watch must sound the alarm immediately.
· Remain in the area where hot work is being performed for at least 15 minutes after cessation of the hot work
|Two Types of Hot Work Activities||
policy recognizes two types of work processes and the difference in fire
hazard potential between the two. These
two processes are:
Permit Required Hot Work Performed by Contractors - Construction and demolition activities (e.g. all project related work carried out by an outside contractor).
Required Hot Work Performed by UTMB
Employees - Daily UTMB employee
maintenance and construction activities (e.g. repairs such as soldering
UTMB employee activities typically do not present the level of hazard that contractor’s activities do and are typically performed by UTMB personnel very familiar with their work environment, the hazards of the work, emergency procedures and appropriate safety controls. The PAI for this type of work is the employee’s immediate supervisor, who is trained by EHS.
A fire watch is required for all hot work
activities covered by this policy.
The requirement for a fire watch may only be waived by written
authorization by a Leader of EHS and a Leader of FOAM or where otherwise exempted in this procedure.
The fire watch’s primary duty is to have a fire extinguisher at
the ready, monitor the work for accidental ignition of materials and
extinguish such fires where safe to do so.
A Fire Watch will also be required whenever:
Combustible materials are more than 35 ft (11 m) away but are easily
ignited by sparks.
Wall or floor openings within a 35-ft (11-m) radius expose combustible
materials in adjacent areas, including concealed spaces in walls or
Combustible materials are adjacent to the opposite side of partitions,
walls, ceilings, or roofs and are likely to be ignited.
More than one fire watch may be required if combustible materials that could be easily ignited by the hot work operation cannot be directly observed by the initial Fire Watch (e.g. hot work within/on a multi-story vertical chase).
|Signatures Required on Permit||
following signatures will be required when a permit is issued:
For UTMB performed work, the
supervisor and PAI may be the same person.
For contractor-performed work, three signatures must be obtained.
The contractor supervisor and PAI may evaluate
the site, complete and sign the permit and then later have the worker
receiving the permit receive/sign the permit just before performing the
work after having reviewed precautions with his supervisor.
By signing and accepting the permit, the receiving employee and company agree to abide by all the terms and conditions in this procedure and as stipulated on the permit. UTMB, EHS will perform periodic audits of the worksite and reserves the right to stop work activities if safety conditions warrant such action.
Note: Hot work around Sprinklers
In addition to general good housekeeping practices
(rapid removal of construction debris, e.g. at least daily), the
following controls must be utilized when performing hot work activities:
Hot work shall only be performed in specific outdoor areas designated
by UTMB or properly permitted areas.
Hot work shall not be attempted in areas not authorized by UTMB,
in the presence of flammable materials (e.g. gasoline, thinner etc.),
explosives or explosive atmospheres.
3. Hot work shall not be attempted in sprinklered buildings where such protection has been disabled.
Hot Work must be performed near a sprinkler head, then a cloth rag wet
with water must be carefully wrapped around the sprinkler head.
The sprinkler system should not be shut off.
Hot work equipment (torches, saws etc.) shall be in satisfactory
operating condition. All
torches utilizing regulators and hoses must have a flashback arrestor at
the regulators. All welding
leads must have no bare conductors.
5. The floor area where the hot work is to be performed shall be cleared of combustible debris to a distance of 35 feet beyond the area of hot work. If the hot work area will be wide, as in the case of demolition activities, then the entire area must be free of combustibles to the extent feasible and acceptable to the PAI.
Where hot work must be performed in the presence (within 35 feet) of
combustible materials, the combustible material shall be shielded from
ignition by metal or fire retardant guards or curtains.
Edges of covers meeting the floor and overlaps of covers shall be
tight to prevent sparks from going under the cover.
Within 35 feet, openings to adjacent areas (e.g. cracks in walls,
floors or ducts) shall be covered to prevent sparks from entering
If hot work is performed on walls, ceilings or floors, precautions
shall be taken to prevent materials on the other side from igniting.
Hot work shall not be attempted on a partition, wall, ceiling, or roof
that has a combustible covering or insulation, or on walls or partitions
of combustible sandwich-type panel construction.
10. Hot work that is performed on pipes or other metal that is in contact with combustible walls, partitions, ceilings, roofs, or other combustibles shall not be undertaken if the work is close enough to cause ignition by conduction. Other controls may also be employed such as products designed to dissipate the heat transferred.
|Steps to perform||
The following steps shall be undertaken when
contractors perform hot-work activities:
In the planning stages of construction/demolition, the UTMB
construction manager shall identify processes that meet the
characteristics of permitted hot work activities.
Where a demolition process cannot be modified to eliminate
the potential sources of ignition, the UTMB
Construction Manager shall obtain authorization to proceed with work
plans from EHS and a FOAM
Personnel to perform the hot work will prepare the area as described
in the section entitled “Hazard Controls for Performing Hot Work”.
The contractor superintendent (supervisor), UTMB
construction representative and the PAI must meet
(construction representative and PAI may be the same
person); review the permit, site conditions and all three must sign the
permit to authorize work. The
employee performing the work shall review hazards and controls with his
supervisor, and then sign the permit.
After hot work is completed, a Fire Watch shall be in the vicinity for
an additional (1/2) hour, including through breaks and lunches, with the
express purpose of ensuring no smoldering fires ignite.
This time may be modified by the PAI as
Hot Work Permits shall be valid for only a time period set out by the PAI
and shall not exceed 12 hours duration.
If the task is to be performed over a 24 hour period and will
extend into the evening hours, the permit must be updated before 5 pm.
Permits are only valid for 5 consecutive work days.
Upon approval by UTMB, EHS, a contractor’s Hot Work process may be utilized if it meets the minimum requirements set by this procedure. In any case, UTMB’s permit must be used.
|Procedure for UTMB Employees Performing Hot Work|
Before performing hot work, UTMB
Coordinate such work with their immediate supervisor
Institute the hazard controls mentioned above
Obtain a fire extinguisher for the express use by the Fire Watch.
Employee’s supervisor completing the permit (who is the PAI
in this case) shall ensure that applicable controls are utilized and the
area is safe for the work
Have supervisor finish completing and sign permit
Employee receiving permit will then sign the permit
|UTMB Shop Areas||
UTMB employees in
permanent shop areas do not have to obtain hot work permits but must
follow the same precautions when performing hot work.
The UTMB supervisor over these areas may elect to extend, at his discretion, all or part of this procedure to the shop areas under his control.
|How to get them||
Permits required for off-hours work (week end and overnight) shall be principally obtained through the corresponding UTMB supervisor/PAI working during the day.
Where possible, the UTMB supervisor shall complete the permit in advance and the permit shall be updated by another approved PAI (e.g. construction manager completes the permit electronically and another designated PAI who normally does not have access to the electronic version, updates it daily).
UTMB shift personnel shall obtain their permits through their designated PAI. This will typically be a shift leader in their group.
In the event of an emergency (i.e. unscheduled contractor hot work), the EHS on-call person may issue the permit. Additionally, permits may be obtained by contacting the FOAM Control Room.
|Examples when a separate, dedicated fire watch is required||
fire watch will be required in the following instances:
UTMB employee activities, where soldering
(e.g. sweating of pipe) is involved, the UTMB
employee may be the fire watch. This does not apply to welding or other processes where the
discovery of accidental ignition may be delayed (e.g. wearing welding
certain low-hazard operations such as soldering pipe or some types of
grinding in a large, open construction operation with low combustible
loading, the PAI may elect to waive the dedicated
fire watch requirement for contractors.
In this case, the contractor employee performing the work will be
his own fire watch and all the other restrictions applying to a fire
watch will still apply.
PAI will make the final decision on fire watch
policy adopts NFPA 51B, Standard for Fire Prevention During Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot
Work 1999 Edition.
Contractors are required by this policy to abide by NFPA 241, Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations, 1996 edition.
Last updated 3/24/03