Hot Work (including Welding, Cutting and Heating) >> Preparing Space for Hot Work

Figure 1: Ventilation and temporary lighting provided for hot work.
Figure 1: Ventilation and temporary lighting provided for hot work.
Figure 2: Ventilation provided for enclosed spaces.
Figure 2: Ventilation provided for enclosed spaces.

Before performing hot work, shipyard personnel must prepare spaces for entry and work. Consideration must be given to such items as illumination, ventilation, means of access (such as ladders), and staging. When the space has been adequately prepared, a marine chemist or shipyard competent person must conduct a visual inspection. [See Testing and Certification for Hot Work and Confined or Enclosed Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres.]

The and below can be conducted by shipyard personnel (such as tank cleaners, ship superintendent, port engineer, Shipyard Competent Person (SCP), Marine Chemist, etc). Either a Shipyard Competent Person (SCP) or a Marine Chemist must test for hot work, depending on the hot work location.

Figure 3: Preparing for hot work.  Figure 4: Blank in line to isolate system.  Figure 5: Safe for hot work.

In preparation of a space for hot work, the requirement in 29 CFR 1915 Subpart D must be followed. If a Marine Chemist Certificate is required, the following must be provided [NFPA 306, Chapter 2]:

Figure 7: Grounded/bonded welding machine.
Figure 8: Fire watch.
Figure 6: Continuous exhaust ventilation in a confined space.
Figure 9: Paint removed 4" all around both sides.Figure 10: Removal of flammable or combustible material. Figure 11: Adequate ventilation. Figure 12: Adjacent space has been inerted.

Preparation for hot work also includes:

  • Ensuring that flammable, combustible, or toxic coatings (preservative coatings or insulation) have been removed from hot work surfaces.
    • A shipyard competent person must perform testing on any surface of which the flammability is not known. [29 CFR 1915.53(b)]
    • Toxic preservative coatings must be stripped back at least 4 inches, otherwise airline respirators must be used. [29 CFR 1915.53(d)(1)]
  • Ensuring that flammable and combustible materials (such as trash, rags, open containers of solvents, etc.) have been removed from the area. [29 CFR 1915.81 and 29 CFR 1915 Subpart P]
  • Ensuring that flammable or combustible materials have been removed or are adequately covered. [29 CFR 1915 Subpart P]
  • Ensuring that all movable fire hazards in the vicinity have been removed from the hot work area. [29 CFR 1915 Subpart P]
  • Ensuring ventilation is adequate to maintain a safe atmosphere during hot work. [29 CFR 1915.51(b)]
  • Ensuring that adjacent spaces have been inspected and meet requirements for hot work.
    • In lieu of cleaning, adjacent spaces can be inerted.

Additional Resources

  • See also, NFPA Fire Protection Handbook for "Hot Work Oxygen Chart" (Inerting).