Monday, October 6, 2014

Conducting Hot Work Operations

Smoke Showing Photography: Boston Ma - 9 Alarms 2 LODD's - March 26 2014 &emdash; On March 26, 2014 Lt. Edward Walsh, Jr. and Firefighter Michael Kennedy of the Boston Fire Department lost their lives in the line of duty.  The fire, a brownstone in the 200 Block of Beacon St., would escalate to 9-alarms. The cause of the fire was determined to be wind-driven sparks from a welding operation.

D & J Iron Works were found to be at fault in this fire and these deaths.  Though, not intentional, their lack of proper fire safety precautions will cost them $58,000 in fines.  This seems like a small financial penalty for the damage and lives lost.  However, this incident will, no doubt, put this company out of business due to lost revenue, damaged reputation, and lost standing in the community.

D & J Iron Works was cited and fined for 10 violations, among them are the following:
  • lack of employee fire safety training
  • ineffective fire prevention precautions
  • no posted "fire watch" during the welding operation
OSHA and the NFPA have specific guidance and safeguards that must be followed when performing hot work operations.  This can most readily be achieved by instituting a hot work permit program/system at your facility or within your community.  FM Global freely provides a complete hot work system and information.  These can be ordered through their website.

Below is a brief slideshare that provides an overview of the hot work process and considerations.  This presentation is based on the requirements found in NFPA 1:41 and NFPA 51B.

If you would like any further information, training materials, or assistance in creating your own hot work program, feel free to contact me.

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