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Shipyard Employment eTool: Shipbuilding
General Requirements Shipbuilding Ship Repair Shipbreaking Barge Cleaning

Shipbuilding Hot Work (including Welding, Cutting and Heating)


Click on an area for more specific information. Fire Watch Fire Watch Fire Watch Hot Work in Confined Spaces Fire Watch Hot Work in Enclosed Spaces Hot Work in Other Locations Ventilation Labeling Labeling Rescue Team Figure 1: Hot Work Operations Figure 1: Hot Work Operations: Fire Watches, Ventilation, Labeling and Establishing Rescue Teams.

Up to 25 percent of fatalities in shipyards result from fires and explosions caused by hot work.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
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 Subpart P].

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. 

Note: During shipbuilding operations, the need for testing by a SCP and CMC will depend on the progress of the vessel construction. Until there is a potential for a hazard, such as after the introduction of flammable liquids, testing may not be required.


Note: Confined space entry is one of the leading hazards associated with barge cleaning. Review the Confined or Enclosed Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres chapter for information on how to protect workers from this hazard.

Steps for safe hot work include:
Test Yourself: This interactive enhancement asks such questions as "Which spaces need to be checked by a marine chemist before hot work?" and "Who can approve the hot work?"


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