This policy covers the safety and permitting procedures regarding all cutting and welding activities at Dartmouth.
Cutting and welding operations (commonly referred to as hot work) are important in many machine shops, maintenance, and construction activities. Additionally, cutting and welding are done in our studio art department in sculpture classes.
Potential health, safety, and property hazards result from the fumes (metal vapors), gases, sparks, hot metal and radiant energy produced during hot work. Hot work equipment, which may produce high voltages or employ the use of compressed gases requires special awareness and training. The hazards associated with hot work can be safely reduced through a combination of adequate facilities, training, work practices and personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prohibits cutting and welding operations unless appropriate steps are taken to minimize fire hazards. These requirements are specified in 29 CFR 1910.252 (general requirements) and 29 CFR 1910.253 (oxygen-fuel gas welding and cutting). Please see the attached codified regulations.
This policy applies to all cutting and welding activities at Dartmouth College. Contractors working on behalf of the College are expected to have trained personnel, a cutting and welding program of their own. Each contractor must obtain, complete and return a Dartmouth supplied hot work permit as required by this policy.
Help with this is available from EHS.
College areas where hot work is done must be designated, prepared, equipped and approved by EHS. Only trained and authorized individuals are permitted to perform hot work.
Combustible and flammable materials within the work area must be protected against fire hazards and the operation should not pose hazards to others in nearby areas. The following controls must be used:
Hot work must not be conducted in the presence of explosive mixtures of flammable gases, vapors, liquids, or dusts or where explosive mixtures could develop inside improperly prepared tanks, equipment or piping. If there are any questions about the safety of a particular operation, then EHS must be contacted prior to any work being done.
In confined spaces, EHS must be contacted prior to any work for inspection and evaluation. The Hanover Fire Department may also be involved in pre-planning and preparation. All other requirements of the College's Confined Space Program apply.
Special Note: No welding involving any of the following metals is to take place without the prior approval of EHS.
Cutting of stainless steel requires adequate local exhaust ventilation.
A "fire watch" must be done during and for at least one hour after hot work operations have ended. A fire watch consists of two individuals—typically one who performs the work and one who provides the fire safety watch.
Additionally, the following steps must be taken:
Personal protective equipment specifically designed for hot work must be available and used at all times during cutting or welding. Please refer to the College's PPE policy for more information.
The need for appropriate respiratory protection must be discussed with EHS in advance. No welding involving the six metals listed above may be done without the permission of EHS.
Storage and handling of compressed gas cylinders are important parts of many cutting and welding operations. The following must be observed:
All welding and cutting operations that take place outside of a properly designed area must be documented with the use of a Cutting and Welding Permit (also called a Hot Work Permit). A copy of this permit is Attachment 1. Each year, the completed permits will be collected by EHS and kept on file for three years from date of issuance.
The Cutting and Welding Permits are numbered and kept in the Tool Crib. Numbered permits with the letter "A" are intended for use by College personnel only. Completed permits must be returned to the Tool Crib at the end of each shift.
Contractors working on behalf of the College must obtain a permit from EHS. Numbered permits with the letter "B" are intended for use by Contractors working on behalf of the College. These must be completed and returned to EHS at the end of each work day.
All persons performing hot work must be properly trained. Training includes a combination of experience, on-the-job training, classroom instruction and adherence to the policy requirements outlined here. In general, each person permitted to weld on the Dartmouth campus must demonstrate knowledge, skills and abilities in the following related areas.
Periodically EHS will conduct an audit, collect hot work permits and evaluate work practices. Additional training or revisions to this policy will be made as needed.
1. This includes floor or door signs to indicate that welding equipment is within and precautions for entry as appropriate.
2. In general terms, this refers to construction and other situations where the work cannot be easily moved. In these situations, the area must be made fire safe and all necessary precautions taken to prevent a fire or welding related accident or loss.
3. The Power Plant has its own hot work permit system based on the requirements of this program.