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Hot work permit and fire safety

This topic contains 13 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  GTokley 1 day, 7 hours ago.

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  • #694590

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I just want to start a discussion on fire safety and hot work.

    Was talking to a friend in the state of MA who does plumbing and electrical work and he was complaining how difficult it is to do small business in the state of MA.

    In MA, if you are doing any hot work, say as a plumber, you need to apply for your normal plumbing permit, which now include it’s own hot work component, or if you are doing work that doesn’t need permitting that involves hot work, say you are repairing a few leaky pipes, you still need to pull a hot work permit from the fire department which takes 1-9 days. To pull that permit you have to go and get hot work safety certification at an approved school.

    What is hot work? ANY welding, cutting, drilling, grinding, soldering, heat treating, hot riveting, torch applied roofing, abrasive blasting, and powder driven fasteners.

    He said he just replaced a boiler and it took six hours and his company had to hire a fire fighter sitting around on site all day to be “on the ready”. Their pay more, the consumers now pays an additional “hot work surcharge” on the itemized bill. As a result even more work are being done underground, unpermitted.

    All of this started when in 2014 two Boston firefighters were killed from fire sparked by unpermitted and improper welding.

    This is supposed to solve that?

    Require hot work training? Good. Require hot work permitting? Good. Require someone to choose between “paying double and waiting a week to solder a leaking water pipe” OR “just get it done yourself hush hush with fingers crossed?” Isn’t what this is originally designed to prevent?

    There are discussions of this in other jurisdictions. What are your thoughts?

    #694592

    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    Training and permitting are good concepts but “professional” oversight is going too far. Do you want a traffic safety expert riding shotgun every time you get into your truck? The underground market must love these rules.

    There are only two ways to do things; the right way and again.

    #694604

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Wow and I thought Hawaii was the nanny state.
    We have HIOSHA laws that require there to be a fire hydrant near by but not the over seeing and permitting as you are talking about.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #694669

    GTokley
    Pro
    Madoc, ON

    Training and permitting are good concepts but “professional” oversight is going too far

    I agree.

    I see these decisions made were I work. I feel the people that are making the changes to make jobs safer. They don’t know the job or jobs.

    Greg

    instagram.com/gregtokley/

    #694709

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    What is happening is that the pros are going to circumvent the process.

    For example my friend told me when he goes and do a smaller job, he can’t really deal with having to get a hot work permit from the fire department, so he does not do hot work. If it means repairing a section of copper pipes, he will take the pipes outside of the job site (because the hot work permit only governs the job site) into his van and does the soldering there. Then he goes inside and fit it, then back out again to continue. Once he has the whole thing soldered up, he goes back inside and he has only one joint or two to connect. There he would switch from soldering to ProPress. No hot work done at the job site.

    The alternative to the home owner would be to either wait a week to get the hot work permit, or do it hush hush. Some would do it hush hush which goes back to the unpermitted unlicensed untrained practices they try to avoid.

    ProPress should be selling lots of tools and fittings in the state of MA!

    #729374

    Thanks for sharing a beautiful topic. Hope it helps to the people who work on hot.

    #729379

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Wow and people wonder why stuff is so expensive.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #729416

    Boschmanbrian
    Pro
    Montreal , QC, Canada

    I have to call in to the security department every day for them to issue me a hot work permit ,
    Our welding shop have it permanently ,
    It’s a insurance related issue when it comes to using torches and or a grinder making sparks.

    #729417

    Sorpa
    Pro
    Pierrefonds, Qc

    I have to call in to the security department every day for them to issue me a hot work permit ,
    Our welding shop have it permanently ,
    It’s a insurance related issue when it comes to using torches and or a grinder making sparks.

    Why do you have to ask for it every day if you need it every day?
    Why not a monthly request?

    #729474

    Boschmanbrian
    Pro
    Montreal , QC, Canada

    I have to call in to the security department every day for them to issue me a hot work permit ,
    Our welding shop have it permanently ,
    It’s a insurance related issue when it comes to using torches and or a grinder making sparks.

    Why do you have to ask for it every day if you need it every day?
    Why not a monthly request?

    Because of the area I’m working in , it’s not to insurance codes , so to be able to keep working in the same area , we need to follow strict procedure’s.
    For me to have a permanent permit , needs to be 25 feet away from combustible material like wood and so on , plus the walls have to be double jip and a few other things.

    Gets pretty complicated for sub contractors coming in the shop trying to do anything like welding and grinding metal.

    #729522

    Dustincoc
    Pro
    Madrid, NY

    Sounds like our OSHA visit this past winter. Completely ignored many exposed moving parts, but we had “serious” violations for the rear guards being off a compactor(total sum of the danger was a 4″x6″ part of the plunger entering into the 3’x4′ opening, so if you accidentally had your hand there while it was running, you’d simply get pushed out of the way. Previous managers had actually come up with the idea of doing so as to facilitate easy cleaning, since, unbeknownst to anyone, a flap was missing to prevent material getting into that area(causing major breakdowns). Or, the other “serious” issue where a sidewall on a conveyor was wore through by the belt. Also had a welder(in the welding area) told he couldn’t do “hot work” near a truck he was repairing, since it contained oil(in the engine) and fuel(in the fuel tanks).

    That said, I’ve also had close calls involving hot work. I work in a recycling plant, so paper/paper dust/combustibles are everywhere. Had an area cleaned to replace a bearing(~2 3/8″ shaft so relatively large bearing) as we did have a hot work permit. Ended up breaking the bearing housing and cutting the inner race off with a grinder as it was seized in place. During the destruction of the bearing phase, unbeknownst to me grease ended up all over the place. I was doing fire watch, with a hose, about 5ft away. Fire started and I hit it with the hose. Water doesn’t put out a grease fire to well… Luckily, the fire got put out by the guy with the grinder. Directly below this, with several holes in the floor, is what I refer to as “the pit of despair”. It’s an about 3′ wide “hallway”, which is behind a sub-floor conveyor(cardboard/paper baler in-feed) pit, meaning it’s always full of water, other crap, stewed racoon bones, and rarely if ever gets cleaned out. Also contains lots of paper … so had the fire gotten there …

    Basiclly, my point is, the person who writes the rules rarely, if ever has actually done what there writing rules for. Where I work, we have an unwritten list of rules(i.e., no pulling the trigger on a flare gun, ect.), and the written list gets taken with a grain of salt. Simply, if anyone actually wrote a list of the hazards, it would be a liability to acknowledge them. Everything from getting stuck with used needles to getting your back clawed by a rat. Also have a few resident racoon’s. I’ve personally been snagged by razor wire. We also have the best safety record in the division, not due to following the “rules” but by always thinking “what will kill me next?”

    Shop Blog: http://ravenbarsrepair.tumblr.com/
    Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz498FKw9LF1awJsKIqhoxQ

    #729552

    CB
    Pro

    Dustincoc, I have no specific comment to make, but didn’t want your post to go by unacknowledged. Thank you for sharing your point of view on a very interesting topic. I agree that quite often, those who write the rules rarely have to follow them, and therefore, do not have a visceral understanding of the impact, nor the occasional implausibility, of the rules they wrote.

    #729555

    Boschmanbrian
    Pro
    Montreal , QC, Canada

    @dustincoc oh man , yeah , you definitely are right about that comment
    I work with radioactive material and extremely explosive ,
    I had to laugh when they had a much younger person tell me what and how much danger associated with the product , with the uranium glass , they asked if I would like to use a lead apron ?? Like really
    I asked what about the other products I’ve been raising concern about. It’s been a few years. Still waiting for answers 🤔

    #730315

    GTokley
    Pro
    Madoc, ON

    Sounds like our OSHA visit this past winter. Completely ignored many exposed moving parts, but we had “serious” violations for the rear guards being off a compactor(total sum of the danger was a 4″x6″ part of the plunger entering into the 3’x4′ opening, so if you accidentally had your hand there while it was running, you’d simply get pushed out of the way. Previous managers had actually come up with the idea of doing so as to facilitate easy cleaning, since, unbeknownst to anyone, a flap was missing to prevent material getting into that area(causing major breakdowns). Or, the other “serious” issue where a sidewall on a conveyor was wore through by the belt. Also had a welder(in the welding area) told he couldn’t do “hot work” near a truck he was repairing, since it contained oil(in the engine) and fuel(in the fuel tanks).

    That said, I’ve also had close calls involving hot work. I work in a recycling plant, so paper/paper dust/combustibles are everywhere. Had an area cleaned to replace a bearing(~2 3/8″ shaft so relatively large bearing) as we did have a hot work permit. Ended up breaking the bearing housing and cutting the inner race off with a grinder as it was seized in place. During the destruction of the bearing phase, unbeknownst to me grease ended up all over the place. I was doing fire watch, with a hose, about 5ft away. Fire started and I hit it with the hose. Water doesn’t put out a grease fire to well… Luckily, the fire got put out by the guy with the grinder. Directly below this, with several holes in the floor, is what I refer to as “the pit of despair”. It’s an about 3′ wide “hallway”, which is behind a sub-floor conveyor(cardboard/paper baler in-feed) pit, meaning it’s always full of water, other crap, stewed racoon bones, and rarely if ever gets cleaned out. Also contains lots of paper … so had the fire gotten there …

    Basiclly, my point is, the person who writes the rules rarely, if ever has actually done what there writing rules for. Where I work, we have an unwritten list of rules(i.e., no pulling the trigger on a flare gun, ect.), and the written list gets taken with a grain of salt. Simply, if anyone actually wrote a list of the hazards, it would be a liability to acknowledge them. Everything from getting stuck with used needles to getting your back clawed by a rat. Also have a few resident racoon’s. I’ve personally been snagged by razor wire. We also have the best safety record in the division, not due to following the “rules” but by always thinking “what will kill me next?”

    Dustin you bring up some good points.
    I am a certified member of the Health & Safety Team where I work. I fairly new to this role. In my short time in this role I have got a few things changed.
    I am just wondering if OSHA did ignored serious violations. If you company got fined for other violations. OSHA could have wrote out orders to your company to have this equipment repair. I am not sure how works in US.
    I have had couple of conversations with MOL Inspector that visited our plant. This man told me several stories. He mention once. That had a call to go to a company about violation. When he started his investigation he saw something more unsafe then what he was called for. So he fined the company for this violations.

    Your also right people who right the rules don’t do the work. Last year our plant manager worked in our department for 7 days a week to for a month. I pointed out some of the flaws in our department. He agreed with me and couldn’t believe how these jobs were set up. Now one year later things are still the same as there were last year. I thought for sure we would have got a few improvements. But nothing!

    Greg

    instagram.com/gregtokley/

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