Hot Work - National Safety Council

Hot Work

1% of Non-roadway Fatalities*

Hot work activities are typically defined as those that create flames, heat and/or sparks. The most notable examples are welding, cutting, soldering, brazing and grinding. “Hot work,” however, also can include drilling, which creates heat due to friction, or the thawing of pipes. Hot work typically requires special work permits, especially when activities are being performed in areas where flammable atmospheres may exist. ** 

The information in each section below is listed in the order of relevance to the hazardous situation.


Situational risks – inherent to the situation or proximate cause of injury
  • Explosion risk – compressed gases
  • Explosion risk – environmental gases
  • Fire risk -- materials
  • Fire risk -- machinery
  • Burns from torches
  • Exposure to welding fumes
Systemic risks – contribute to injury but are not direct causes
  • Improper gas containment
  • Lack of workplace awareness
  • Lack of training
  • Faulty equipment
  • Valve or container failure
  • Improper PPE
  • Fatigue
Relevant Technology Solutions
  • Automation of processes
  • Robots
  • Process hazard analysis software

* Safety Technology 2020: Mapping Technology Solutions for Reducing Serious Injuries and Fatalities in the Workplace

** Safety+Health magazine: Hot Work Hazards

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