Standard Operating Guideline #2: Hot Work Permit

Standard Operating Guideline # SG-2

Hot Work Permits

  1. General:
  2. In Case of a Fire
    1. All Fires (sustainable combustion) that occur from a Hot Work Job SHALL be reported to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety as soon as the fire is detected.
    2. If the fire is unable to be extinguished by the fire protection equipment on site, the Fire Department shall be notified and the Building Fire Alarm pulled.


Anytime cutting, welding, brazing, grinding, soldering, thawing pipes, Torch applied roofing, or any operation involving open flames or one that is capable of producing heat and/or sparks, a safety hazard can exist unless proper care is observed. These hazards include fire, burns, injuries to sight and respiratory consequence from fumes, gases, sparks, hot metal and radiant energy. These operations are generally found in facilities work, but can also be present in science research functions or Art Departments. OSHA requires that adequate controls and procedures are in place for hot work to be performed. (29 CFR 1910.252-255, NFPA 51B)


  1. Procedures:
    1. When a possible hot work job is identified by an employee the reporting supervisor should be notified. If it is determined that hot work is necessary to perform the job and no alternative is feasible, the supervisor shall see that a hot work permit is obtained and the paper work is complete before starting the job.
    2. The hot work permit shall contain the following information:
      1. The cutter or welder’s name
      2. The date for the work to be started
      3. Job number if provided
      4. Location which shall include the building, floor, and/or room number
      5. The nature of the job or identification of the object to be serviced
      6. Signature of the designated authorized representative for the issuance of the work permit
      7. Time started and Time finished (to include the 60 minute fire watch)
      8. Permit expirations
      9. Signature of the fire watcher (must not be the cutter or welder nor the designated authorized representative).
    3. After the hot work permit is obtained and the area is determined to be safe for hot work, the person doing the hot work will sign off the start time for the work. Assuring a fire watch is in place.
    4. After the hot work is complete at least a 60 minute fire watch should follow. After the fire watch is complete and there is determined to be no danger of fire, the employee responsible for the fire watch shall list an ending time to the job and sign the fire watch complete statement.
    5. If the hot work permit expires before the work is to be performed, the employee shall contact the person issuing the permit for an extension or for a new permit.
    6. Once the hot work is completed, ALL hot work permits will be returned to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and remain on file for one year.


  1. Fire Prevention and Protection
    1. When practical, objects to be welded or cut shall be moved to a designated safe location. If the object cannot readily be moved, all movable fire hazards in the vicinity will be taken to a safe place. If possible, no combustibles will be within 35 feet of the work site.
    2. If the object welded or cut cannot be moved and if the fire hazards cannot be removed, then appropriate guards shall be used to confine heat, sparks, and slag, and to protect immovable fire hazards.
    3. If there are floor openings that cannot be closed, precautions will be taken to prevent combustible materials on the floor below from being exposed to sparks which may drop through the exposed openings in the floor. The same precautions will be observed with cracks or holes in walls, open doorways and open or broken windows.
    4. Suitable fire extinguishing equipment shall be readily available at all hot work jobs. All equipment shall be maintained as prescribed according to NFPA guidelines.
    5. A fire watch is required whenever hot work is performed in locations that are not designated for hot work.
    6. Firewatchers will have fire-extinguishing equipment readily available and be trained in its proper use. They will be familiar with the procedures for sounding an alarm in the event of a fire.
    7. The fire watch will be maintained for at least a 60 minutes after the completion of the hot work operations in order to detect and extinguish possible smoldering fires.
    8. The designated employee who maintained the fire watch will also sign off on the hot work permit at the completion of the work.
    9. Where combustible materials such as paper clippings, wood shavings, or textile fibers are on the floor, the floor will be swept clean for a radius of 35 feet. Combustible floors will be kept wet, covered with damp sand, or protected by fire-resistant shields. Where floors have been wet down, personnel operating arc welding or cutting equipment will need to be protected from possible shock.
    10. Cutting or welding shall not be permitted in the following situations.
      1. In areas not authorized by management.
      2. In sprinkled buildings when such protection is shutdown and no other adequate means to ensure fire protection is available.
      3. In the presence of potentially explosive atmospheres.
      4. In areas near the storage of large quantities of exposed, readily ignitable materials such as bulk sulfur, baled paper, or cotton.


  1. Ducts and conveyor systems that might carry sparks to distant combustibles will be suitably protected or shut down with appropriate lock out tag out procedures (see Lock out Tag out policy).

L.     Where cutting or welding is done near walls, partitions, ceiling or roof comprised of combustible materials, fire-resistant shields or guards will be provided to prevent ignition of those materials.

M.   If welding is done on a metal wall, partition, ceiling or roof, precautions will be taken to prevent ignition of combustibles on the other side, due to conduction or radiation, preferably by relocating combustibles. Where combustibles are not relocated, a fire watch on the opposite side from the work will be provided.

N.    Welding will not be attempted on a metal partition, wall, ceiling or roof having a combustible covering nor on walls or partitions of combustible sandwich-type panel construction. i.e.: Metal on wood

O.    Cutting or welding on pipes or other metal in contact with combustible walls, partitions, ceilings or roofs will not be undertaken if the work is close enough to cause ignition by conduction.

P.     Before hot work is permitted, a designated authorized representative will inspect the area. This person will designate precautions to follow and will grant authorization to proceed, in the form of a written permit.

Q.    Cutters or welders and their supervisors will be trained by the Longwood University Office of Environmental Health and Safety in the safe use of the process.

R.    University Project Managers will advise contractors about flammable materials or hazardous conditions at the University. Designated authorized University Project Managers will issue all hot work permits to contractors working in existing buildings.

S.     If the Contractor will be involved with a long term project on campus that includes a significant volume of Hot Work jobs, the University Project Manager can contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety to evaluate the contactors hot work policy to make sure it conforms to University Policy and all applicable local, state and federal regulations.  A signed compliance form will be obtained to allow the contractor to monitor their own program during construction


  • Contractors working on new construction projects will be required to manage their own program subject to evaluation and inspection by the University Project Manager and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.



  1. Welding or Cutting on or in Containers
    1. Welding, cutting, or other hot work will not be performed on used drums, barrels, tanks or other containers until they have been cleaned thoroughly to make certain there are no flammable or toxic materials present. Any pipelines or connections to the drum or vessel will be disconnected or blanked.
    2. All hollow spaces, cavities or containers will be vented to permit the escape of air or gases before preheating, cutting or welding.


  1. Personal Protective Equipment
  2. A welder working on platforms, scaffolds, or runways will be protected against falling. This may be accomplished by the use of railings, safety harnesses, lifelines, or other equally effective safeguards (see Fall Protection Policy).
  3. Welders will place welding cable and other equipment so that it is clear of passageways, ladders, and stairways.
  4. Helmets and hand shields shall be made of a material which is an insulator for heat and electricity. Helmets and face shield shall not be readily flammable.
  5. All glasses for lenses shall be tempered and substantially free from scratches and defects such as air bubbles, waves or other flaws.
  6. All welding helmets, shields and goggle lenses shall be shaded appropriate to the job and in accordance with the OSHA lens shade guide 29CFR 1910(b)(2)(ii)(H).
  7. Helmets or hand shields will be used during all arc welding or arc cutting operations. Helpers or attendants will also be provided with the proper eye protection necessary to perform the job.
  8. Goggles or other suitable eye protection will be used during all gas welding or oxygen cutting operations. Spectacles without side shields and with suitable fluted lenses can be used for gas welding operations on light work, torch brazing or for inspection.
  9. All operators and attendants of resistance welding or resistance brazing equipment will use transparent face shields or goggles depending on the particular job to protect their faces or eyes as required.
  10. Workers adjacent to the welding areas will be protected from the rays by noncombustible screens or shields or will be required to wear appropriate goggles.
  11. Employees exposed to the hazards created by welding, cutting, or brazing operations will be protected by appropriate protective clothing depending on the size, nature and location of the work performed. These include and are not limited to an apron, leggings, safety shoes, protective helmet, ear protection, eye protection, and respiratory protection.
  12. First Aid equipment shall be available at all times. All injuries shall be reported to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.



  1. Confined Space Welding
    1. See Longwood University Confined Space Policy
    2. Appropriate mechanical ventilation will be provided for welders in a confined space.
    3. When welding or cutting is performed in a confined space, gas cylinders and welding machines will be left on the outside. Before operations are started, heavy portable equipment mounted on wheels will be securely blocked to prevent accidental movement.
    4. Where a welder must enter a confined space, means will be provided for quickly removing the worker in case of emergency. An attendant will be stationed outside to observe the welder at all times and be capable of putting rescue operations into effect.
    5. After welding operations are completed, the welder will mark the hot metal or provide some other means of warning other workers.
    6. When arc welding is suspended for any substantial period of time, such as during lunch or overnight all electrodes will be removed from the holders.
      1. The electrode holders will be carefully located so that accidental contact with the grounded work surface cannot occur.
      2. The welding machine shall be disconnected from the power source.


  1. In order to eliminate the possibility of gas escaping through leaks or improperly closed valves, torch valves will be closed and the gas supply to the torch shut off outside the confined area whenever the torch is not used for a substantial period of time, such as during lunch hour or overnight. Where practicable, the torch and hose will also be removed from the confined space.
  2. Supervisor Responsibilities
    1. Shall be responsible for ensuring the safe handling of the cutting and welding equipment and the safe use of the cutting or welding process.
    2. Shall determine the combustible materials and hazardous areas present or likely to be present in the work location.
    3. Shall protect combustibles from ignition by the following:
      1. Have the work moved to a location free from dangerous combustibles
      2. If the work cannot be moved, have the combustibles moved a safe distance from the work or have the combustibles properly shielded against ignition
      3. See that cutting and welding jobs are scheduled so that plant operations that might expose combustibles to an ignition source are not occurring during cutting or welding.
    4. Shall secure Hot Work Permit for the cutting or welding operations from the designated authorized representative.
    5. Shall not be both the Supervisor and the designated authorized representative to the cutter or welder except in emergency conditions.
    6. Shall determine that the cutter or welder secures his approval that conditions are safe before going ahead with the work.
    7. Shall determine that fire protection and extinguishing equipment are properly located at the site.
    8. Where fire watches are required, he/she shall see that the Hot Work permits are in place at the site and that a fire watch has been established.
    9. Shall notify the building Area Coordinators/Floor Wardens and Campus Police if Hot Works requires the Fire Alarm System to be disabled.