Health and Safety(Welding) Essay Example

Investigation and Description of the Work Permit for Welding Activities

Permits to work are formal management systems used in controlling the high-risk activities that are like to pose serious threats to the workers or the environment. As a result, it enables the assessment of the risks to be made besides specification of the control measures to allow the reduction of the risks involved. Permits to work are usually necessary for activities like maintenance and construction works by the external contractors unless the risk assessment states otherwise.1 For welding activities, it is crucial to acquire the Hot Work Permit since the process involves ignition.

Once the flammable materials are available, there is likelihood of fire hazard within the workplace. The common hot work process that the team is likely to practice include welding, soldering, brazing, and cutting. There are principles worth considering with regard to the work permit systems in a welding environment. These issues include human factors, work permit system management, poorly skilled personnel, conscious and unconscious incompetence, aims of the work permit systems, the required work permit type, and the content of the work permit.

The purpose of the permit is to establish the minimum safe working procedures and guidelines for welding and other hot work operations throughout the state. In addition, it also covers the management of ignition sources like the tools producing sparks and materials considered hazardous. The application has to meet the basic requirement of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Fire Department, and Federal Regulations. The scope of the permit is to protect life, health, and property destruction from fire that might result from welding and equipment cutting, open flames, and sources of ignition. Therefore, all the hot work practitioners have to comply with these guidelines. It is a policy that Facilities Operations offer the Hot Work Permit before commencing the welding activities or use spark-producing equipment in the areas not specifically designated for such use.2

The project manager shall notify the Facilities Operations in writing in advance before the operations with a copy of the Hot Work Procedures provided to the contractor during notification. The Hot Work Permit is often is often valid the day and operation for which it is issued. Therefore, activities requiring permits for more than a single day would require separate permit for each day.

In order to acquire a Hot Work Permit, the torch operator needs to have a valid Certificate of Fitness (COF) issued at the City Fire Department normally identified as Torch Use of Flammable Gases for Cutting and Welding. The operator also requires a Fire Guard or Watch, who must also have a valid (COF) from similar the Fire Department. The Facilities Operations need to develop an appropriate standards procedure of operations whenever required besides designating specific areas where the Hot Work Permit shall be applicable. For safety reasons, the designated areas need to be free of any combustible material. Therefore, the standing permit shall not be in effect in areas with gaseous fuels and hazardous fumes. If welding were to take place in locations not designated for such reason, then the supervisor from the Facilities Operations would have been present before the activity commences. When necessary, it is crucial to consult an Environmental Health and Safety practitioner for proper inspection of the area. However, the welder might require a separately confined space entry permit for such extra activities.

Evaluation of a Range of Permit-to-work Systems and Isolating the Permit Required for Welding

There are different work permits. However, the type of safe work permit is determined by the nature of the work to be carried out and hazards like to emerge from the operations. The array of activities and locations makes it almost impossible to have a single permit applicable for all situations. The Cold Work Permits applies in the hazardous maintenance works, which do not involve hot work and are issued whenever there is no reasonable ignition source and after elimination of all the harmful contacts or taking appropriate precautions to eliminate the negative effects of activities. On the other hand, the Confined Space Entry Permit is applicable when the involved activity relates to the entry of any confined area like the tanks, towers, pit, or the sewer. The permit might integrate some of the requirements for both the cold and hot work place permits depending on the location that it is taking place.

Nonetheless, the Confined Space Entry Permit needs to be used in conjunction with the Code of Practice that tends to describe all the important aspects of safety involved in the operations being carried out.3 Permit to work systems works effectively when properly developed and implemented. In addition, they serve as the checklist that ensures that all the identified hazards, control methods, working procedures, and all the safe work necessities are identified, documents, and reviewed with personnel understanding the code of practice of the involved activities. The permit to work also provides the authorization and completion of any activity categorized as hazardous.

Electrical work is any activity that involves using the tools that intentionally require electrically energized circuits, which are greater than 120 volts. It is important to note that testing any electrical appliance does not qualify to be an electrical work unless the testing process needs that both the worker and his/her tools intentionally be in contact with the electrically energized circuits. In such cases, then it would be important to acquire the Electrical Work Permit to ensure compliance in all the activities carried out. Welding activities could use either electricity or oxyacetylene depending on the availability of the materials. Therefore, if the operator chooses to use electricity, then application for the Electrical Work Permit is inevitable to ensure compliance in the activities carried out.

With regard to the welding activities, it falls under the Hot Work Permit since it uses heat and generate sparks. The permit applies to any activity that involves ignition, riveting, and cutting and the work itself involves using pneumatic hammers, non-explosion proof electrical equipment like the heaters, and internal combustion engines. When performing hot, there are three types of hazardous conditions worth considering including the presence of materials considered flammable in the equipment, presence of combustible materials or emit flammable gasses when subjected to heat, and availability of flammable gases in the atmosphere or any gaseous material entering the atmosphere from the adjacent area.4 These gases might even originate from improperly protected sewers. Therefore, in such cases, it is crucial to use portable detectors for the combustible gases within the area to warn the employees of the gas entries.

Monitoring equipment to ensure the promotion of a safe working environment

Inspection of the hot work activities includes scheduling workplace place inspection by qualified OSH practitioners, research and safety committees, facility management, and security personnel to reduce the negative impact of the hazardous activities on people and environment. While undertaking the monitoring activity, it is crucial to determine the significance of the identified hazard, assistance of the assessed risk, gather relevant information of the identified hazard, asses the level of performance of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System used, and evaluate the performance level of OSH training.

Hot work is a dangerous activity that requires practitioners building of compliance with the required codes and standards to reduce the number of exposed casualties. In addition, using the WorkSafe programme might help to inspect the working place effectively. The project and HSE supervisors have to ensure compliance with the specified safety procedures through regularly monitoring the work being completed by the Hot Work Permit.

Those intending to perform hot work activities needs to attend various training to qualify for the certificate of operating like the Initial Welding Safety training and refresher training after every three years to ensure that one is always up to date with arising matters in hot work activities. For safety reasons, the employees working in the hot work environments need to have personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect them from hazardous impacts associated with welding activities.

References

Gale M and Passey H, Fire Protection Association Hot Work Permit Scheme (Fire Protection Association 2002)

Levy S and Civitello A, Construction Operations Manual Of Policies And Procedures (McGraw-Hill Education LLC 2014)

Ludhra S, Common Sense Guide To Health And Safety In Construction (Taylor and Francis 2014)

Wieder M and Smith C, Fire Inspection And Code Enforcement (Fire Protection Publications, Oklahoma State University 1998)

Date of Hot Work:

Location of Hot Work: Building Floor: Room:

Other important information on the location

Names of people performing the Hot Work, Affiliate Company, and Phone Contacts

Name: Company: Phone:

Name: Company: Phone:

Type of Hot Work being performed:

Department/Person authorizing the Hot Work Permit (Tick as appropriate)

Name (Print): Date:

  1. Physical Resource Services ( )

  2. Health and Safety Executive ( )

  3. Fire Safety Department ( )

  1. Hot Work area has sprinkler protection yes ( ) No ( ) Deactivated ( )

  2. Is the area having smoke detection? yes ( ) No ( ) Deactivated ( )

  3. Is the area on a roof? yes ( ) No ( )

Special precautions worth considering

Official Verification

I verify that I received the Hot Work Procedures and Requirement from the above mentioned person(s)

Name: Signature: Date:

Fire Watch:

Date and time that the Fire Watch started:

Date: Time: (AM) (PM)

HOT WORK PERMIT

1
Wieder M and Smith C, Fire Inspection And Code Enforcement (Fire Protection Publications, Oklahoma State University 1998), pg 78

2
Gale M and Passey H, Fire Protection Association Hot Work Permit Scheme (Fire Protection Association 2002) Pg 102.

3
Ludhra S, Common Sense Guide To Health And Safety In Construction (2014) pg154.

4
Levy S and Civitello A, Construction Operations Manual Of Policies And Procedures (McGraw(2014) Pg 113.