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Review of Hot Work Permit

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Messy
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Review of Hot Work Permit

Post by Messy » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:44 pm

I am about to review our hot work permit arrangements as I know I want to make a few changes. I would be interested to know what system your employer uses especially for the mounting period after work ceases. I am not a fan of a one size fits all approach as it costs money and disrupts work unnecessarily at times

I am thinking of using risk based approach with 30 mins minimum for heat guns, between 30 and 60 mins for soldering or grinding and 60 mins minimum for high heat work, such ARC welding and naked flame work. (cutting or torch work on flats roofs etc)

The assessment will take into account the time of day, the location of the work, the surrounding environment and nature of work being undertaken, in conjunction with the supplied RAMS

I also want cover during meal breaks and the contractor to supply their own fire extinguisher(s) as determined by us when he submits his method statement.

So what do you do?
Do you use a risk based approach and will my ideas work?
Lastly what penalties do you impose when contractors are found not complying with the HWP? I want no warning, but a straight financial penalty

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Re: Review of Hot Work Permit

Post by Alexis » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:00 am

Bump.
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Re: Review of Hot Work Permit

Post by hammer1 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:08 pm

Messy wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:44 pm
I am about to review our hot work permit arrangements as I know I want to make a few changes. I would be interested to know what system your employer uses especially for the mounting period after work ceases. I am not a fan of a one size fits all approach as it costs money and disrupts work unnecessarily at times

I am thinking of using risk based approach with 30 mins minimum for heat guns, between 30 and 60 mins for soldering or grinding and 60 mins minimum for high heat work, such ARC welding and naked flame work. (cutting or torch work on flats roofs etc)

The assessment will take into account the time of day, the location of the work, the surrounding environment and nature of work being undertaken, in conjunction with the supplied RAMS

I also want cover during meal breaks and the contractor to supply their own fire extinguisher(s) as determined by us when he submits his method statement.

So what do you do?
Do you use a risk based approach and will my ideas work?
Lastly what penalties do you impose when contractors are found not complying with the HWP? I want no warning, but a straight financial penalty
Hello squire, hope all is well, wow you are really getting into the detail of things, fair play.

When I used to be involved in HWPs, my first point of call was the insurance company and what their requirements were, lucky enough we had FM Global who are very pro active on this sort of thing, the below may be of interest.

https://www.fmglobal.com/insights-and-i ... permit-app

In regards to your last sentence, I would have to do a gap analysis over previous 12 months of reported fires from hot works/ was it contained/F&RS called/reported incidents of contractors working with no HWP/general housekeeping/ standard of their RAMS etc. If the results state no current significant issues then a 3 strikes and your out approach may be more appropriate or something similar on construction sites (yellow cards/red cards) may suit better?
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Re: Review of Hot Work Permit

Post by Andyblue » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:41 pm

Messy wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:44 pm
Lastly what penalties do you impose when contractors are found not complying with the HWP? I want no warning, but a straight financial penalty
This probably caused the most raised eyebrow and perhaps most critique of the proposal. Our HW operators fail to follow their own systems, as signed off our company- the client. That, presumably means the HW operators left or caused an unsafe site and fire hazard. That may be seen as a very naughty thing to do. However, that is not how our company views it. We see it as a means to create income and impose arbitrary fines for safety failings. Now in purely financial terms, it would seem we can allow, perhaps even promote unsafe works to continue as long as the HW Operator keeps paying the fines.

After all the other requirements you have suggested, surely, any failing by the HW operator should firstly be reviewed as to how and why it happened - it could have been your company's 'fault' rather than theirs and the ultimate sanction instead of a fine is they are removed from the job. That imposes a financial penalty on them anyway as well as showing the company supports safety over profit.

I can see how a fine system could work, but surely any failings need to follow the usual sequence of being investigated, reviewed and then some form of escalation action from NFA through to cancelation of contract.

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Re: Review of Hot Work Permit

Post by Messy » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:59 pm

Interesting views and useful ones as I haven't reviewed a HWP system before. I am very grateful

I cannot really discuss the nature of the business, but the works carried on within are critical and I am encouraging the Resp Person to adopt a zero tolerance approach to breaches of the procedure, especially where that work involves naked flame related hot works. (as naked flames hot works are more likely to lead to fires that rapidly develop and spread)

I am aware that the hot air Palace in Westminster that is dominating our news at the moment incorporates a HWP system that includes a hourly inspection by the internal fire team as the hot works progresses.

However, the premises I am referring to is perhaps as critical to its business as the Palace of Westminster is the the running of the UK, but we do not have the luxury of a 24/7 fire team of 40+ staff as Parliament do, so the onus of responsibility must fall to the contractor/HWP owner.

I will reconsider the fixed penalty nature of my proposal, but need a strong deterrent and in my experience a heavy financial penalty does tend to focus the business mind a bit more than a weak points system. The business are pushing back against substantial 'fines' as they see this will drive up tender costs as contractors write in potential fines into their quotes

The business are also against considerably improving their virtually useless site induction arrangements- again as it will cost them

Every day is a marathon with this one. We all agree that the current HWP system is not fit for purpose, but not how to improve things (without spending any money!!!!!!)


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Re: Review of Hot Work Permit

Post by Andyblue » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:34 am

Messy, interesting scenario. At the moment it sounds like a huge problem and any of our ideas may be totally irrelevant. Have you looked at breaking it down to manageable bites so we are left with just a few real headaches to solve.

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Re: Review of Hot Work Permit

Post by andybz » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:46 am

You seem to be mixing up the hot work permit with the guidance on how to develop, issue and manage the permit. This, in my opinion, is problematic.

Of course risk based approaches can be used. You can provide guidance on how to apply the approach. But you need to make sure if there is any uncertainty the default is to apply a higher standard. You want to avoid long discussions about how to classify work to allow the lower standard to be used.

Who supplies the extinguisher is a different matter and I would suggest contractural and nothing to do with either your permit or guidance.

Fixed penalty fines rather negates all the work we do in safety regarding near miss reporting, root cause analysis etc. I would find it hard to justify.
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Re: Review of Hot Work Permit

Post by bernicarey » Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:09 pm

Messy,
I too have some reservations about the 'Fine' aspect, because I think it might potentially result in increased cost of tenders, simply because proposers will factor it in; but then to be competitive, they shouldn't add too much if they choose that route.
I think Andy's comment about breaking the review down into manageable chucks is valid.

I know your request is essentially about the after work finished period, but I would certainly ensure the location and the surrounding materials taken into account in the process, because surroundings are very relevant.

This fire always sticks in my mind, simply because I had only been out there a few months when it happened.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... gpy1pywgzQ

When you consider that Clark County Nevada has amongst the strictest Fire regs in the USA, because of the deaths in the 1980 MGM Fire, this fire on the roof of the Monte Carlo in 2008 seems incredible in the way it spread downwards.
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