OSHA defines hot work as any work that involves burning, welding, using fire- or spark-producing tools, or that produces a source of ignition. Workers are potentially at risk not only in the oil and gas industry, where flammables are handled regularly, but also in many other industrial sectors where hot work is performed. While hot work presents a number of risks, the potential for starting a fire may be the most significant. A pre-work hazard assessment should always be performed and should include testing for any potential flammable or combustible materials. In most cases a work permit that establishes all testing and safety requirements is mandatory. Once work begins both the immediate work area and surrounding areas should be continuously monitored throughout the duration of the job in case of changing conditions such as a change in gas concentrations, change of wind direction, or change in ambient temperature.
Gas monitoring equipment considerations include:
Before hot work begins, determine the level of flammable and toxic gas present in the atmosphere. For hot work in confined spaces, you may need a gas detector with a pump to draw air samples during initial testing of the space. In this situation, you could use a Ventis Pro, Ventis MX4, or MX6 iBrid with a pump and sample tubing. Following the 2x2 rule, you can use these aspirated instruments to find out the type and concentration of gas hazards in the space. The sensor configuration would depend on the types of hazards you may encounter.
Hot work may create flammable and toxic gases and may change the level of oxygen in an area. Options for multi-gas monitoring include personal and area monitors that can be used for continuous monitoring in the immediate and surrounding areas. Using a Ventis Pro or Ventis MX4 with a standard four-gas configuration (O2, CO, H2S, and LEL for combustibles) is ideal for personal protection while hot work is performed. In some instances, an MX6 iBrid would be better suited for the hot work because of its broader sensor selection and configuration. For monitoring an area where hot work is performed, the Radius BZ1 acts as another layer of detection.
Placing a Radius BZ1 Area Monitor upwind of the hot work site will give early warning of dangerous conditions to those performing the work. Through LENS wireless, the Radius BZ1 can alert workers of gas hazards if they are using Ventis Pro gas monitors. When using the Radius BZ1 and Ventis Pro together, workers can create a mesh network in which area and personal monitors can talk to each other and warn other workers of hazardous conditions.
Any electrical/electronic equipment used in the hot work area must be intrinsically safe to avoid the risk of igniting in a potentially hazardous atmosphere. Intrinsically safe gas detectors must be used prior to the work being performed for permitting purposes and during the work to prevent ignition. For this reason, all Industrial Scientific gas detectors are intrinsically safe.
Proper Maintenance and Compliance
The DSX Docking Station provides automated calibration, bump testing, record keeping, and instrument diagnostics.
Extended battery life helps with increased productivity and equipment reliability. Ventis Pro instruments offer 3 different battery options to fit your run time needs. The Radius BZ1 can run continuously for 7 days without a power supply and can run indefinitely with an extended run time power supply.
Ease of Operation
User-friendly equipment simplifies operation for employees and contractors and improves reaction time during emergency situations.
Digital Permit to Work and JHA
Before hot work begins, it is critical to assess the environment and complete a job hazard assessment (JHA), as well as complete a hot work permit to work. Helping to ensure all of the required forms and permits are filled out correctly each time, SmartWork digital permits enable you to remove the risk associated with paper forms and pencil-whipping. Additionally, through integration with the Ventis Pro gas monitor, gas readings, both one-time and those from continuous monitoring, can automatically populate the permit to work form. Learn how automating your permits to work and JHAs can keep your work on track and your workers safe.