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University of Houston - Victoria

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Campus Safety Manual

Hot Work Guidelines And Permit Process

Introduction

Hot Work is any work process which requires heat or open flame to complete. Hot Work procedures include but are not limited to using a torch or other extreme heat producing device, grinding, brazing, welding, flame soldering, thawing pipes with torches, applying roofing materials with torches and other work where there is a risk of fire associated with the work.

It is the policy of the University of Houston-Victoria to require all employees, contractors or other vendors to be permitted for Hot Work through the Facilities Services Department prior to the start of any work within University owned, leased or managed facilities. This requirement applies to University employees, contractors and other vendors where there is a risk of fire to complete the required task. Any exception to this policy requires the approval of either the Director of Facility Services, or the Campus Safety & Risk Manager, or the Vice President of Administration and Finance. Exceptions must be in writing and the original document must be maintained in the Facilities Services Department and a copy filed in the Safety Office.

If the Hot Work can be performed away from the facility, a Hot Work permit will not be required. However, if Hot Work is performed inside, in the crawl space, or immediate perimeter of a facility, then a Hot Work permit is required and must be approved prior to the start of work. The Building Maintenance Manager or a Facilities Services designate will determine during the pre-inspection if a manned Fire Watch may also be required.

Permitting Process

Supervisors, primarily the Director of Facilities Services and the Building Maintenance Manager as well as project managers and contractors will initially determine if welding cutting, soldering and heating must be done as part of the project or work order. Hot Work must be authorized through the Facilities Services Department by completing a Hot Work Permit (Attachment A). Once the forms are completed and the necessary approvals are obtained, the Hot Work Permit and the Hot Work Pre-Inspection sheets are to be posted in a conspicuous area at the work site. After the job is complete and the work site re-inspected, the forms should be returned to the Facilities Services Department. The original is maintained in permanent records for the required records retention period by the Facilities Services Department. Permits may be issued for up to 72 hours.

Hot Work Site Pre-Inspection

  1. A pre-inspection of the area where work is to be done is the responsibility of the Facilities Services Building Maintenance Manager. The Building Maintenance Manager, Director of Facilities Services, or a Facilities Services designate must complete the Hot Work Pre Inspection (Attachment B). The pre-inspection is required to:
    • assess the risks associated with the work area, i.e. whether the work area is cluttered, houses combustible materials or flammable liquids.
    • determine whether additional safeguards may be needed;
    • determine whether a manned Fire Watch is required.

Fire Watch

The Fire Watch, as the name implies, maintains work site vigilance, looking for the presence of fire or other hazardous conditions within the Hot Work area.

  1. A Fire Watch is required when:
    • the pre-inspection indicates a manned Fire Watch is a prudent and reasonable precaution to protect life and property from fire;
    • the Hot Work to be performed is outside of the normal weekday work hours of 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  2. Fire Watch duties include but are not limited to:
    • Arriving at site prior to start of work to ensure:
      1. flammable containers are removed from area;
      2. making sure that equipment and/or work space is not contaminated with combustibles, flammable liquids or other hazardous materials;
      3. if work involves walls or ceilings, that combustibles are removed from other side of wall.
    • Bringing fireproof tarp to site;
    • Bringing 10# ABC extinguisher to site;
    • Vigilance during the job to watch for possible fire or other hazards;
    • Staying at the site for 30 minutes after the Hot Work is complete or longer if determined necessary by the Building Maintenance Manager or a University Administrator;
    • Re-inspecting the site one hour after the job has been completed to ensure that the area is fire safe;
    • Completing the Hot Work Final Inspection (Attachment B).
  3. The Fire Watch should be:
    • trained in the use of ABC type fire extinguisher usage;
    • familiar with the equipment and facility;
    • know the procedures for
      1. emergency preparedness procedures, including
      2. sounding the building fire alarm, and
      3. notifying the Fire Department (9-911 when using a University phone)
  4. Fire Watches may be authorized by the Director of Facilities Services, the Building Maintenance Manager or the Campus Safety & Risk Manager.
  5. Standby fire extinguishers and person(s) to man the Fire Watch are to be provided and coordinated through the Facilities Services Department.

Safety Manual: Table of Contents