Hot Work Law and Legal Definition

Hot work is any process that can be a source of ignition when flammable material is present or can be a fire hazard regardless of the presence of flammable material in the workplace. Common hot work processes are welding, soldering, cutting and brazing. When flammable materials are present processes such as grinding and drilling become hot work processes. In some countries, a hot work permit is required for hot work.

The following is an example of a federal statute on hot work:

In the U.S., Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates hot work in the marine industrial setting.

According to 29 CFR 1915.14, the employer must ensure that hot work is not performed in or on any of the following confined and enclosed spaces and other dangerous atmospheres, boundaries of spaces or pipelines until the work area is tested and certified by a Marine Chemist or a U.S. Coast Guard authorized person as safe for hot work.

1) Within, on, or immediately adjacent to spaces that contain or have contained combustible or flammable liquids or gases.

2) Within, on, or immediately adjacent to fuel tanks that contain or have last contained fuel; and

3) On pipelines, heating coils, pump fittings or other accessories connected to spaces that contain or have last contained fuel.

Further,, an employer must keep all hot work areas free of new hazards that may cause or contribute to the spread of fire. The employer should also divide the area of hot work into designated and non designated areas.[ 29 CFR 1915.503]