Shipbreaking » Hot Work (including Welding, Cutting and Heating)
Hot work includes welding, cutting, burning, abrasive blasting, and other
heat-producing operations. Hot work presents an increased risk of fire and explosion
hazards because it is most often performed in confined and enclosed
spaces. [29 CFR 1915.51,
29 CFR 1915.53,
29 CFR 1915.54,
29 CFR 1915.55, 29 CFR 1915.56,
and 29 CFR 1915
Accidents may occur during hot work due to the structure of vessels, where hot
work in a space can cause fire or explosion in an adjacent
space that has not been evaluated safe for hot work. Special precautions
must be taken in adjacent spaces as well as confined and enclosed spaces.
The Confined or Enclosed
Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres module should be reviewed before continuing with this
Figure 1: Ship's hull being cut with torch from inside of vessel.
Up to 25 percent of fatalities in
shipyards result from fires and explosions caused by hot work.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Steps for safe hot work include:
Note: Confined space entry is one of the leading
hazards associated with barge cleaning. Review
Shipbreaking: Confined or Enclosed
Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres
chapter for information on how to protect workers from this hazard.