Guidance Note 19 – Hot work permit

This Guidance Note gives practical information about hot work permits.

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A sample template has been included in Appendix 1. If you wish to use this template to construct your own documents, you must ensure that all references to Alcumus SafeContractor Accreditation have been removed and the final documents are clearly incorporated into your existing safety management system.

Alternatives to hot work (i.e. cold cutting) should be undertaken whenever reasonably practicable where there is a risk of fire or explosion. Where hot work is unavoidable, it should not be carried out unless it is authorised and properly supervised by an experienced manager or supervisor who has knowledge of the work to be carried out, the risks involved and the precautions to be taken.

What is a hot work permit?

A permit-to-work system is a formal written system and is an extension of the safe system of work. A hot work permit is used to prevent fire or explosion and will specifically detail the work to be carried out, how and when it is to be done and the precautions to be taken.

The use of a permit system does not, by itself, make the job safe. It supports the safe system, providing a ready means of recording findings and authorisations required to undertake hot work.

The hot work permit should check the following items (where appropriate):

On satisfactory completion of the job, the authorising person should cancel the permit.

Re-issue of the permit

If the work has not been completed before the permit expires, a re-issue of the permit is required. The responsible person must visit the location and ensure that conditions have not substantially altered since the certificate was initially issued. If the conditions have altered the situation must be reassessed and, as necessary, further controls should be specified.

End of operators

On completion of hot work, the permit must be signed-off and returned to the permit issuer, stating that the work area is safe for normal operations and that all workers are clear from the work area. The process operator should check the essential services and if agreed, the permit should be cancelled.

Operation review and revision

Following each operation, the procedures will be reviewed and revised, as necessary. Periodically, persons in charge should review the permit-to-work system to ensure that permits are being correctly completed, and that the required controls are being adopted.