According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), on average, there are more than 6,300 fatalities on a daily basis due to workplace accidents or work-related illnesses. This is in addition to 317 million (average) non-fatal accidents that happen on the job on an annual basis.
You can avoid these mishaps by implementing a well-designed safety management program, aided by a modern EHS management solution.
Frontline workers are always exposed to a multitude of significant risks when working in hazardous environments. Accidents can often happen because of overlooking some of the finer details, including delayed communication or miscommunication, inadequate safety procedures, or improper risk assessments.
Incidents occur owing to several reasons, some of which include insufficient training or the absence of a proper Permit to Work (PTW) management system. One extremely common high-risk task in sectors like manufacturing, oil & gas, and construction is performing hot work. This includes everything from welding, soldering, grinding, and cutting, use of open flames, and usage of hot air blowers or lead heaters.
Do you regularly perform “hot work” like welding, soldering, etc. within the workplace? If yes, then you need an automated Permit to Work software to ensure all risk mitigation efforts are taken care of before commencement of the work.
Streamline and automate Hot Work Permits with ComplianceQuest Permit to Work software.
Click here to request a demo: https://www.compliancequest.com/online-demo/
In this blog, we highlight why an enterprise needs to automate the process of issuing a Hot Work Permit.
How do you Define a Hot Work Permit?
A permit-to-work system is a documented procedure to ensure that only “permitted work” is done in a given area by authorized personnel.
A hot work permit is a specific detail of how the work has to be performed, when it has to be done and what precautions have to be taken when it comes to working in high temperature. A reliable ‘Hot Work Permit’ process and workflow can prevent fires, explosions, and several other risks.
Types of Hot Work
The following are the types of hot work:
- Use of disc cutters
- Use of open flame
- Use of hot air blowers or lead heaters
Precautions to be Taken
Before starting hot work operations, a completed hot work permit is required. The following aspects must be verified before, during and after any hot work process:
- Check equipment properly through equipment safety certificates, service reports, and calibration records
- Check if the worker has proper training and competence
- Check if appropriate fire extinguishers are present
- Take out or cover combustible materials
- Remove flammable substances
- Ensure worker is aware about the use of personal protective equipment [PPE] while performing the task
- Instruct the workers to wear the right PPE in the intended manner
- Keep firefighting equipment in an accessible location
- Ensure and maintain proper ventilation
- Use insulating bases where necessary
- Use non-combustible screens to contain sparks
- Remove empty cylinders when used
- Remove equipment and move to safe storage
- Stay in observation for the duration specified in risk assessment and/or hot work permit document
According to OSHA, there are specific regulations for shielding during welding, brazing, and cutting operations. Proper ventilation and fire-proofing are other critical requirements.
Implementing a Hot Work Permit Program for Your Enterprise
The hot work permit program should be customized to the needs of each location and include the following:
Conducting risk evaluation for hot work: Risk evaluation should be performed by a person with appropriate knowledge, training, and experience to determine and implement control measures effectively.
Determining specific areas for hot work: It is important to determine specific areas within a site where hot work permits are required. You must mark zones within your floorplan where a hot work permit is required.
Areas can be classified as:
Designated areas – permanent areas particularly designed for hot work.
Non-designated areas – areas not intended for hot work, at least not without a written permit.
Prohibited areas – areas where hot work should never be allowed.
Implementing the Hot Work Permit Process
The written hot work permit program should include the following process, and safety leaders should perform regular checks throughout to:
- Identify less hazardous work methods
- Implement an organizational policy for hot work
- Review worker competency
- Perform a specific work area risk assessment before starting of the work
- Ensure authorization via a hot work permit to perform hot work
- Make sure to get worker acknowledgment for the controls needed
- Allot fire watchers for both breaks during the day and the final fire watch
- Take photographs after completing a fire watch (normally 60 minutes) using a thermal camera
Key Benefits of Using ComplianceQuest’s Permit to Work Solution to Automate Hot Work Permits
Simplified Permit to Work process
You can record PTW reviews, handle all Permit to Work requests, proactively manage tasks, and update approvals to avoid risks, with ComplianceQuest Permit to Work Software.
You can recognize which permits should have a detailed risk assessment before work starts and manage a centralized repository of PPEs or other equipment needed.
You can specify and analyze pitfalls using checklists based on the type of work such as hot work, confined space entry, etc.
Notifications and Alerts
You can configure notifications and alerts throughout the Permit to Work process on any kind of device.
ComplianceQuest’s Permit to Work software, which is a part of our EHS suite, helps various stakeholders and safety professionals engage with field workers constantly and process specific permit requests with a genuine focus on workplace safety and employee and contractor wellbeing.
ComplianceQuest offers a safety checklist, to help leaders take care of all necessary safety precautions before performing hot work.