When performing Hot Work its very important to protect ourselves, which is why we always wear task appropriate PPE like specialty gloves, jackets, boots, shields and respirators.
One of the things that we sometimes overlook when setting up our sites before welding, grinding, or cutting is how to protect others in the area.
Other workers can be exposed to the same hazards that the worker is, such as falling and flying sparks, bright flashes, and build-ups of fumes and smoke.
When setting up our work sites for Hot Work tasks, keep these things in mind:
Are there people working below me that sparks can fall onto?
If on a grated floor, can a blanket be put down?
Will others be working in the area that may be in the line of sight of the flashes?
Are you working near a main walkway where others can be exposed to flashes while walking?
Can the area fill up with smoke and fumes, exposing others to potentially harmful substances?
Is there a chance another worker may be exposed to an electric shock?
Are we preheating a pipe or surface to perform a weld, that others could accidentally touch?
There are a few simple controls that can be used to mitigate these hazards quite easily in most situations, like:
Signs for overhead or hot work
Pedestal or area fans
Communicating with other trades
Placing plywood on potentially wet surfaces
Keeping PPE dry and replacing wet gloves
Keeping ground connections as close as possible to the weld point
Remember that while we are always responsible for our own health & safety, other people in the area may not be aware of the work we are doing and how they can best protect themselves.
For more information on Workplace Safety visit us at www.gemba-group.com !