Written fire watch policy. The employer must create and keep current a written policy that specifies the following requirements for employees performing fire watch in the workplace:
The training employees must be given (§ 1915.508(c) contains detailed fire watch training requirements);
The duties employees are to perform;
The equipment employees must be given; and
The personal protective equipment (PPE) that must be made available and worn as required by 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart I.
Posting fire watches. The employer must post a fire watch if during hot work any of the following conditions are present:
Slag, weld splatter, or sparks might pass through an opening and cause a fire;
Fire-resistant guards or curtains are not used to prevent ignition of combustible materials on or near decks, bulkheads, partitions, or overheads;
Combustible material closer than 35 ft. (10.7m) to the hot work in either the horizontal or vertical direction cannot be removed, protected with flame-proof covers, or otherwise shielded with metal or fire-resistant guards or curtains;
The hot work is carried out on or near insulation, combustible coatings, or sandwich-type construction that cannot be shielded, cut back, or removed, or in a space within a sandwich type construction that cannot be inerted;
Combustible materials adjacent to the opposite sides of bulkheads, decks, overheads, metal partitions, or sandwich-type construction may be ignited by conduction or radiation;
The hot work is close enough to cause ignition through heat radiation or conduction on the following:
Insulated pipes, bulkheads, decks, partitions, or overheads; or
Combustible materials and/or coatings;
The work is close enough to unprotected combustible pipe or cable runs to cause ignition; or
A Marine Chemist, a Coast Guard-authorized person, or a shipyard Competent Person, as defined in 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart B, requires that a fire watch be posted.
Assigning employees to fire watch duty.
The employer must not assign other duties to a fire watch while the hot work is in progress.
Employers must ensure that employees assigned to fire watch duty:
Have a clear view of and immediate access to all areas included in the fire watch;
Are able to communicate with workers exposed to hot work;
Are authorized to stop work if necessary and restore safe conditions within the hot work area;
Remain in the hot work area for at least 30 minutes after completion of the hot work, unless the employer or its representative surveys the exposed area and makes a determination that there is no further fire hazard;
Are trained to detect fires that occur in areas exposed to the hot work;
Attempt to extinguish any incipient stage fires in the hot work area that are within the capability of available equipment and within the fire watch's training qualifications, as defined in § 1915.508;
Alert employees of any fire beyond the incipient stage; and
If unable to extinguish fire in the areas exposed to the hot work, activate the alarm.
The employer must ensure that employees assigned to fire watch are physically capable of performing these duties.
[69 FR 55703, Sept. 15, 2004]