• Part Number:
  • Part Number Title:
    Marine Terminals
  • Subpart:
    1917 Subpart G
  • Subpart Title:
    Related Terminal Operations and Equipment
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Welding, cutting and heating (hot work)[12] (See also § 1917.2, definition of Hazardous cargo, materials, substance, or atmosphere).
  • GPO Source:

Definition. "Hot work" means riveting, welding, flame cutting or other fire or spark-producing operation.


Hot work in confined spaces. Hot work shall not be performed in a confined space until a designated person has tested the atmosphere and determined that it is not hazardous.


Fire protection.


To the extent possible, hot work shall be performed in designated locations that are free of fire hazards.


When hot work must be performed in a location that is not free of fire hazards, all necessary precautions shall be taken to confine heat, sparks, and slag so that they cannot contact flammable or combustible material.


Fire extinguishing equipment suitable for the location shall be immediately available and shall be maintained in readiness for use at all times.


When the hot work operation is such that normal fire prevention precautions are not sufficient, additional personnel shall be assigned to guard against fire during hot work and for a sufficient time after completion of the work to ensure that no fire hazard remains. The employer shall instruct all employees involved in hot work operations as to potential fire hazards and the use of firefighting equipment.


Drums and containers which contain or have contained flammable or combustible liquids shall be kept closed. Empty containers shall be removed from the hot work area.


When openings or cracks in flooring cannot be closed, precautions shall be taken to ensure that no employees or flammable or combustible materials on the floor below are exposed to sparks dropping through the floor. Similar precautions shall be taken regarding cracks or holes in walls, open doorways and open or broken windows.


Hot work shall not be performed:


In flammable or potentially flammable atmospheres:


On or in equipment or tanks that have contained flammable gas or liquid or combustible liquid or dust-producing material, until a designated person has tested the atmosphere inside the equipment or tanks and determined that it is not hazardous; or


Near any area in which exposed readily ignitable materials such as bulk sulphur, baled paper or cotton are stored. Bulk sulphur is excluded from this prohibition if suitable precautions are followed, the person in charge is knowledgeable and the person performing the work has been instructed in preventing and extinguishing sulphur fires.


Drums, containers or hollow structures that have contained flammable or combustible substances shall either be filled with water or cleaned, and shall then be ventilated. A designated person shall test the atmosphere and determine that it is not hazardous before hot work is performed on or in such structures.


Before heat is applied to a drum, container or hollow structure, an opening to release built-up pressure during heat application shall be provided.


Gas welding and cutting.


Compressed gas cylinders:


Shall have valve protection caps in place except when in use, hooked up or secured for movement. Oil shall not be used to lubricate caps;


Shall be hoisted only while secured, as on a cradle or pallet, and shall not be hoisted by magnet, choker sling or cylinder caps;


Shall be moved only by tilting or rolling on their bottom edges;


Shall be secured when moved by vehicle;


Shall be secured while in use;


Shall have valves closed when cylinders are empty, being moved or stored;


Shall be secured upright except when hoisted or carried;


Shall not be freed when frozen by prying the valves or caps with bars or by hitting the valve with a tool;


Shall not be thawed by boiling water;


Shall not be exposed to sparks, hot slag, or flame;


Shall not be permitted to become part of electrical circuits or have electrodes struck against them to strike arcs;


Shall not be used as rollers or supports;


Shall not have contents used for purposes not authorized by the supplier;


Shall not be used if damaged or defective;


Shall not have gases mixed within, except by gas suppliers;


Shall be stored so that oxygen cylinders are separated from fuel gas cylinders and combustible materials by either a minimum distance of 20 feet (6.1 m) or a barrier having a fire-resistance rating of 30 minutes; and


Shall not have objects that might either damage the safety device or obstruct the valve placed on top of the cylinder when in use.


Use of fuel gas. Fuel gas shall be used only as follows:


Before regulators are connected to cylinder valves, the valves shall be opened slightly (cracked) and closed immediately to clear away dust or dirt. Valves shall not be cracked if gas could reach possible sources of ignition;


Cylinder valves shall be opened slowly to prevent regulator damage and shall not be opened more than 1½ turns. Any special wrench required for emergency closing shall be positioned on the valve stem during cylinder use. For manifolded or coupled cylinders, at least one wrench shall be immediately available. Nothing shall be placed on top of a cylinder or associated parts when the cylinder is in use.


Pressure-reducing regulators shall be attached to cylinder valves when cylinders are supplying torches or devices equipped with shut-off valves;


Cylinder valves shall be closed and gas released from the regulator or manifold before regulators are removed;


Leaking fuel gas cylinder valves shall be closed and the gland nut tightened. If the leak continues, the cylinder shall be tagged, removed from service, and moved to a location where the leak will not be hazardous. If a regulator attached to a valve stops a leak, the cylinder need not be removed from the workplace but shall be tagged and may not be used again before it is repaired; and


If a plug or safety device leaks, the cylinder shall be tagged, removed from service, and moved to a location where the leak will not be hazardous.




Fuel gas and oxygen hoses shall be easily distinguishable from each other by color or sense of touch. Oxygen and fuel hoses shall not be interchangeable. Hoses having more than one gas passage shall not be used.


When oxygen and fuel gas hoses are taped together, not more than four (4) of each 12 inches (10.16 cm of each 30.48 cm) shall be taped.


Hose shall be inspected before use. Hose subjected to flashback or showing evidence of severe wear or damage shall be tested to twice the normal working pressure but not less than 200 p.s.i. (1378.96 kPa) before reuse. Defective hose shall not be used.


Hose couplings shall not unlock or disconnect without rotary motion.


Hose connections shall be clamped or securely fastened to withstand twice the normal working pressure but not less than 300 p.s.i. (2068.44 kPa) without leaking.


Gas hose storage boxes shall be ventilated.




Torch tip openings shall only be cleaned with devices designed for that purpose.


Torches shall be inspected before each use for leaking shut-off valves, hose couplings and tip connections. Torches with such defects shall not be used.


Torches shall not be lighted from matches, cigarette lighters, other flames or hot work.


Pressure regulators. Pressure regulators, including associated gauges, shall be maintained in safe working order.


Operational precaution. Gas welding equipment shall be maintained free of oil and grease.


Arc welding and cutting.


Manual electrode holders.


The employer shall ensure that only manual electrode holders intended for arc welding and cutting and capable of handling the maximum current required for such welding or cutting shall be used.


Current-carrying parts passing through those portions of the holder gripped by the user and through the outer surfaces of the jaws of the holder shall be insulated against the maximum voltage to ground.


Welding cables and connectors.


Arc welding and cutting cables shall be insulated, flexible and capable of handling the maximum current required by the operations, taking into account the duty cycles.


Only cable free from repair or splice for 10 feet (3 m) from the electrode holder shall be used unless insulated connectors or splices with insulating quality equal to that of the cable are provided.


When a cable other than the lead mentioned in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section wears and exposes bare conductors, the portion exposed shall not be used until it is protected by insulation equivalent in performance capacity to the original.


Insulated connectors of equivalent capacity shall be used for connecting or splicing cable. Cable lugs, where used as connectors, shall provide electrical contact. Exposed metal parts shall be insulated.


Ground returns and machine grounding.


Ground return cables shall have current-carrying capacity equal to or exceeding the total maximum output capacities of the welding or cutting units served.


Structures or pipelines, other than those containing gases or flammable liquids or conduits containing electrical circuits, may be used in the ground return circuit if their current-carrying capacity equals or exceeds the total maximum output capacities of the welding or cutting units served.


Structures or pipelines forming a temporary ground return circuit shall have electrical contact at all joints. Arcs, sparks or heat at any point in the circuit shall cause rejection as a ground circuit.


Structures or pipelines acting continuously as ground return circuits shall have joints bonded and maintained to ensure that no electrolysis or fire hazard exists.


Arc welding and cutting machine frames shall be grounded, either through a third wire in the cable containing the circuit conductor or through a separate wire at the source of the current. Grounding circuits shall have resistance low enough to permit sufficient current to flow to cause the fuse or circuit breaker to interrupt the current.


Ground connections shall be mechanically and electrically adequate to carry the current.


When electrode holders are left unattended, electrodes shall be removed and holders placed to prevent employee injury.


Hot electrode holders shall not be dipped in water.


The employer shall ensure that when arc welders or cutters leave or stop work or when machines are moved, the power supply switch shall be kept in the off position.


Arc welding or cutting equipment having a functional defect shall not be used.


Arc welding and cutting operations shall be separated from other operations by shields, screens, or curtains to protect employees in the vicinity from the direct rays and sparks of the arc.


Employees in areas not protected from the arc by screening shall be protected by appropriate filter lenses in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section. When welders are exposed to their own arc or to each other's arc, they shall wear filter lenses complying with the requirements of paragraph (h) of this section.


The control apparatus of arc welding machines shall be enclosed, except for operating wheels, levers, and handles.


Input power terminals, top change devices and live metal parts connected to imput circuits shall be enclosed and accessible only by means of insulated tools.


When arc welding is performed in wet or high-humidity conditions, employees shall use additional protection, such as rubber pads or boots, against electric shock.


Ventilation and employee protection in welding, cutting and heating -


Mechanical ventilation requirements. The employer shall ensure that general mechanical ventilation or local exhaust systems shall meet the following requirements:


General mechanical ventilation shall maintain vapors, fumes and smoke below a hazardous level.


Local exhaust ventilation shall consist of movable hoods positioned close to the work and shall be of such capacity and arrangement as to keep breathing zone concentrations below hazardous levels.


Exhausts from working spaces shall be discharged into the open air, clear of intake air sources;


Replacement air shall be clean and respirable; and


Oxygen shall not be used for ventilation, cooling or cleaning clothing or work areas.


Hot work in confined spaces. Except as specified in paragraphs (f)(3)(ii) and (f)(3)(iii) of this section, when hot work is performed in a confined space the employer shall ensure that:


General mechanical or local exhaust ventilations shall be provided; or


Employees in the space shall wear supplied air respirators in accordance with § 1910.134 and a standby on the outside shall maintain communication with employees inside the space and shall be equipped and prepared to provide emergency aid.


Welding, cutting or heating of toxic metals.


In confined or enclosed spaces, hot work involving the following metals shall only be performed with general mechanical or local exhaust ventilation that ensures that employees are not exposed to hazardous levels of fumes:


Lead base metals;


Cadmium-bearing filler materials; and


Chromium-bearing metals or metals coated with chromium-bearing materials.


In confined or enclosed spaces, hot work involving the following metals shall only be performed with local exhaust ventilation meeting the requirements of paragraph (f)(1) of this section or by employees wearing supplied air respirators in accordance with § 1910.134;


Zinc-bearing base or filler metals or metals coated with zinc-bearing materials;


Metals containing lead other than as an impurity, or coated with lead-bearing materials;


Cadmium-bearing or cadmium-coated base metals; and


Metals coated with mercury-bearing materials.


Employees performing hot work in confined or enclosed spaces involving beryllium-containing base or filler metals shall be protected by local exhaust ventilation and wear supplied air respirators or self-contained breathing apparatus, in accordance with the requirements of § 1910.134.


The employer shall ensure that employees performing hot work in the open air that involves any of the metals listed in paragraphs (f)(3)(i) and (f)(3)(ii) of this section shall be protected by respirators in accordance with the requirements of § 1910.134, and those working on beryllium-containing base or filler metals shall be protected by supplied air respirators, in accordance with the requirements of § 1910.134.


Any employee exposed to the same atmosphere as the welder or burner shall be protected by the same type of respiratory and other protective equipment as that worn by the welder or burner.


Inert-gas metal-arc welding. Employees shall not engage in and shall not be exposed to the inert-gas metal-arc welding process unless the following precautions are taken:


Chlorinated solvents shall not be used within 200 feet (61 m) of the exposed arc. Surfaces prepared with chlorinated solvents shall be thoroughly dry before welding is performed on them.


Employees in areas not protected from the arc by screening shall be protected by appropriate filter lenses in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (h) of this section. When welders are exposed to their own arc or to each other's arc, filter lenses complying with the requirements of paragraph (h) of this section shall be worn to protect against flashes and radiant energy.


Employees exposed to radiation shall have their skin covered completely to prevent ultraviolet burns and damage. Helmets and hand shields shall not have leaks, openings or highly reflective surfaces.


Inert-gas metal-arc welding on stainless steel shall not be performed unless exposed employees are protected either by local exhaust ventilation or by wearing supplied air respirators.


Welding, cutting and heating on preservative coatings.


Before hot work is commenced on surfaces covered by a preservative coating of unknown flammability, a test shall be made by a designated person to determine the coating's flammability. Preservative coatings shall be considered highly flammable when scrapings burn with extreme rapidity.


Appropriate precaution shall be taken to prevent ignition of highly flammable hardened preservative coatings. Highly flammable coatings shall be stripped from the area to be heated. An uncoiled fire hose with fog nozzle, under pressure, shall be immediately available in the hot work area.


Surfaces covered with preservative coatings shall be stripped for at least 4 inches (10.16 cm) from the area of heat application or employees shall be protected by supplied air respirators in accordance with the requirements of § 1910.134 of this chapter.


Protection against radiant energy.


Employees shall be protected from radiant energy eye hazards by spectacles, cup goggles, helmets, hand shields or face shields with filter lenses complying with the requirements of this paragraph.


Filter lenses shall have an appropriate shade number, as indicated in Table G-1, for the work performed. Variations of one or two shade numbers are permissible to suit individual preferences.


If filter lenses are used in goggles worn under the helmet, the shade numbers of both lenses equals the value shown in Table G-1 for the operation.

Table G-1 - Filter Lenses for Protection Against Radiant Energy

Operation Shade No.
Soldering 2.
Torch Brazing 3 or 4.
Light cutting, up to 1 inch 3 or 4.
Medium cutting, 1-6 inches 4 or 5.
Heavy cutting, over 6 inches 5 or 6.
Light gas welding, up to ⅛ inch 4 or 5.
Medium gas welding, ⅛- ½ inch 5 or 6.
Heavy gas welding, over ½ inch 6 or 8.
Shielded Metal-Arc Welding 116 to 532-inch electrodes 10
Inert-gas Metal-Arc Welding (Non-ferrous) 1/16- to 5/32-inch electrodes 11.
Shielded Metal-Arc Welding:  
3/16- to ¼-inch electrodes 12.
5/16- and ⅜-inch electrodes 14.

[12] The U.S. Coast Guard, at 33 CFR 126.15(c), requires prior permission of the Captain of the Port if welding or other hot work is to be carried out at a facility where dangerous cargoes as defined by 33 CFR 126.07 are located or being handled.

[48 FR 30909, July 5, 1983; 62 FR 40141, July 25, 1997; 65 FR 40942, June 30, 2000]