Hot work is regularly undertaken during construction and building projects. It is considered to be a high risk activity that requires careful and active risk management and should only be carried out by a trained professional.
When carrying out building works in a school that includes hot work, it is essential that a hot works permit is issued by the school to the contractor before the work starts. Read the rest of this blog to find out more.
What is hot work?
Hot work includes any activity which generates or requires the use of flame, heat or sparks. The use of hot works is a major cause of losses within commercial properties, particularly during construction, maintenance and refurbishment projects.
As hot work is a hazardous activity, it should be used as a last resort and should only be authorized where a safer method is not available.
Examples of hot work include:
- Gas and electric welding and cutting equipment
- Blow lamps and blow torches
- Electric or gas hot air guns, heaters or blowers
- Bitumen and tar boilers
- Angle grinder and grinding wheels
- Brazing and soldering
What is a hot works permit?
A hot works permit is a formal management document designed to safeguard the persons carrying out the work, the people in the surrounding areas, as well as the building site they are in.
Providing this official authorisation document prompts safe procedures to be put in place and outlines what those systems are. It also identifies who is responsible ensuring its compliance of its terms and conditions is taking place.
As a school, what safety precautions can be taken to protect pupils and staff?
Before the commencement of hot work, a formal risk assessment should be carried out to identify how to keep pupils and staff safe.
Keep the area clear
- Enclose the area so that children or staff cannot get anywhere near it
- Keep flammable liquids away and combustible materials away from the hot work
- Sweep floors clean and make sure not to use flammable solvents to clean the area
Keep windows open during the work
- Good ventilation should be provided wherever the hot work takes place to reduce volumes of smoke and fumes
Allow the hot work to cool down
- Construction workers should finish up for the day at least 2 hours before the school closes to ensure that no hot objects are left unattended