Hot Work (including Welding, Cutting and Heating) » Hot Work in Other Locations

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Figure 1: Hot Work in Enclosed Spaces
Figure 1: Hot Work in Enclosed Spaces. Also see: Welder, Fire Watches, Rescue Teams, Labels, Ventilation.
Welder Fire Watch Fire Watch Rescue Teams Rescue Teams Labels Labels Ventilation

Welder, Fire Watch, Rescue Teams, Labels, Ventilation

Hot work is occasionally conducted in locations other than enclosed and confined spaces. Such locations may include the exterior of the ship's hull and deck, hollow structures, as well as locations in the shipyard such as shops, dry docks, and tank farms.

The Confined or Enclosed Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres module should be reviewed before continuing with this section. Also, this module, outlining the requirements for Hot Work in Enclosed Spaces, should be reviewed before reviewing the modules regarding hot work requirements for Confined Spaces, or these requirements for Other Locations.


Figure 2: Shipyard Competent Person, with PFD, tests tanks on a barge before authorizing entry. Note: Fall protection must be installed after testing for initial entry.

Potential Hazard

Hot work performed outside confined/enclosed spaces also presents potential fire and explosion hazards if adjacent spaces are not properly prepared.

  • Welding on hollow structures or containers also presents a hazard.
Figure 3: Hot work on rudder

Requirements and Example Solutions

  • The shipyard competent person must inspect and test hollow structures and containers such as drums, skegs, rudders, and voids before any hot work is performed. [29 CFR 1915.54]
  • Warning: Do not use oxygen for ventilation or cleaning. [29 CFR 1915.51(b)(1)(vi)]
  • Ventilate and clean hollow structures as necessary before hot work is performed. [29 CFR 1915.54]
  • For additional requirements, see the Fire Protection chapter.

Potential Hazard

Fall hazards are a leading cause of shipyard fatalities. Shipyard employees are often required to work in dangerous environments that may include fall hazards. Accidents involving elevation equipment such as ladders, scaffolds, and aerial lifts are often serious, even fatal. Workers also risk falls from open deck edges.

Requirements and Example Solutions

Guarding of Deck Openings and Edges
  • Openings and deck edges must be guarded. [29 CFR1915.73]
  • Flush manholes and other small openings must be guarded after opening. [29 CFR 1915.73(b)]
  • During the installation of guards on large openings and deck edges, fall protection (harness with lanyard) must be used. [29 CFR 1915.73(d)]
  • When floor plates or gratings (e.g. bilges, engine rooms, pump rooms, machinery spaces) are removed, the openings must be guarded or planked. [29 CFR 1915.73(f)]
Fall Protection for Scaffold Work
  • Guardrails or other appropriate fall protection must be used when working on scaffolds 5 feet above surfaces. [29 CFR 1915.71(j)]
  • During the installation of guards on scaffolds, fall protection must be used. [29 CFR 1915.73(d)]
  • SHAC recommends that personal fall protection including lanyards and harnesses be used and secured during installation of guardrails and erection and dismantling of scaffolds.
Figure 4: Respiratory protection.

Potential Hazards

In most cases, respiratory protection requirements are less restrictive in locations other than confined/enclosed spaces, due to the natural ventilation available. However, numerous workers may be performing other work nearby and may be at risk of exposure to:

  • Toxic metal fumes, vapors, and gases from welding
  • Ultraviolet radiation from arc welding
  • "Spatter" from hot metal
  • Fire and explosion from nearby operations using flammable or combustible materials
Figure 5: Welding PPE.

Requirements and Example Solutions

  • Provide UV shielding for welding when practical. If not practical, UV filter lenses must be worn by employee at risk. [29 CFR 1915.56(e) and 29 CFR 1915.51(e)(1)(ii)]
  • Do not allow use of chlorinated solvents within 200 feet of the exposed arc of welder. [29 CFR 1915.51(e)(1)(i)]
  • Use appropriate PPE for welders and helpers.
  • Use airline respirators when welding on beryllium containing base or filler metals. [29 CFR 1915.51(d)(3)]

For more specific information, see PPE Selection: Hot Work.