Dealing with hot work process in industrial scenarios

hot work process

How does safety in a hot work process matter in a large-scale industrial facility? Let’s find out!

Numerous unanswered concerns regarding the horrific accident remain nearly 14 months after the explosion in the Port of Beirut, but one thing is certain: hot work served as the spark that ignited the epic series of events. More than 70,000 units were affected, 218 people died, more than 7,000 people were hurt, and at least 300,000 people had to hunt for accommodation as a result.

According to the World Bank, a single spark caused between 3.8 and 4.6 billion dollars’ worth of destruction.

Lebanese officials’ hangar 12 in the Beirut port had a broken door and a hole in the external wall that needed to be fixed on August 8.

Their hot work produced sparks that ignited the neighbouring fireworks supply and caused the ammonium nitrate to explode in a way that stunned the entire world.

Even though an incident of that size is uncommon and presents an intriguing case study for the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem, the incident and its aftermath demonstrate that hot work can have some very serious, expensive, and tragic consequences.

Cutting, welding, brazing, soldering, grinding, drilling, chipping, blasting, heat-treating, defrosting pipes, applying roof coatings, and tar pot and kettle repairs are all examples of hot work. 

According to NFPA research, 4,580 hot work-related structure fires are estimated to occur annually in the United States alone, with non-residential locations accounting for 57% of incidents.

The human cost is in addition to the accompanying expenses for property destruction, business continuity, and displaced residents.

It would seem evident that working with fire close to flammable or combustible objects is dangerous. Materials that ignite easily don’t play well with fire. Why then do we keep reading or hearing stories about flames or explosions caused by hot work?hot work process

Does your hot work programme address flammable dust, by the way?

Hot work is a major contributor to industrial fires year after year, resulting in numerous injuries, fatalities, and large property losses. It’s similar to welding or cutting with an oxy-acetylene torch, but much more.

Any task that has the potential to generate enough heat to start a fire or explosion is considered hot work.

Did you know that high speed metal grinding and cutting are included in hot work?

Any activity using an open flame, such as brazing, heating, burning, and soldering with an open flame torch, is hot work.

Even though personnel are aware of the presence of combustible materials in the vicinity, they may not know where these elements may build to dangerous amounts and can result in an explosion or flash fire.

Does your hazard communication program indicate the physical risk of your combustible dust if you have it?

Accidents at hot workplaces are avoidable.

“We were able to stop the welding operation before things got hot,” turning this incident into a near-miss. This statement is a long awaited one, of course!

Here’s a video of personnel on how they handle fire and oxy acetylene sets:

There is a lot left out of this. Training and performance of activities with safety animation and eLearning involving heated work, cramped areas, and dangerous materials, including combustible dust, is vital.

Hot work, also known as the use of open flames and spark generators, is one of the main causes of fires and explosions.

Hot work techniques include cutting and welding, thawing pipes, torch-applied roofing, and soldering. Despite the risks, hot work is nonetheless a crucial component of many enterprises.

Your company must establish a clear policy to encourage hot work safety to avoid property damage and employee injuries. In general, it’s ideal to complete hot work within regular business hours.

Following some safety advice absolutely does no harm—have a look:

  • Install flooring and walls that are seamless, sealed, and incombustible to help stop sparks from fleeing the heated work area.
  • Maintain a working fire extinguisher nearby and instruct workers on how to use it.
  • Keep combustible materials and flammable liquids a minimum of 11 metres (35 feet) away from the heated work area.
  • Protect combustibles and flammable liquids that can’t be removed by using thermal barriers.
  • Sweep the area around any hot work before beginning.
  • If necessary, put-up welding screens, curtains, and an exhaust system.
  • Maintain and clean the space on a regular basis to keep it in good condition.
  • All workers doing hot labour should receive the appropriate training. You ought to appoint qualified fire watch guards, fire wardens, and hot work supervisors.
  • Consider implementing the following safety measures with all personnel:
  • Any employee performing hot labour should be given personal protection equipment (PPE).
  • When doing heated work, stay away from activities that produce combustible dust or flammable vapours.
  • 30 minutes before lunch, breaks, and the end of the day, halt all heated work-related activities.
  • Make sure no one ever works alone on hot equipment in the shop.
  • After finishing hot work, stay a minimum of 60 minutes on fire watch.
  • A list of important safety advice should be posted in a visible location for employees to consult.

Reminders about hot work safety off-site

Find out if the institution has a hot work management program in place before performing hot work there. Document everything you do while doing the work, and make sure your client approves and signs off on it. Any off-site business can benefit from the above-mentioned on-site safety advice.

Finally, double-check the details of your insurance policy, particularly the liability protection for heated labour. 

Tell us more about your company so we can start creating a customized animation breakthrough for you so you can keep doing the hot work!

 

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