Hampshire campus aerial shot of Cole Science building

Hot Work Program


  • To establish guidelines for the appropriate health and safety requirements that must be followed by Hampshire College employees and outside contractors when performing hot work.
  • To ensure compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations, including Welding and Cutting Processes, 527 CMR 39.00, and OSHA Welding, Cutting, and Brazing General Requirements, 29 CFR 1910.252.
  • To promote awareness of the potential hazards of hot work.
  • To prevent injury and protect property.


Fire Watch

  • An individual who is trained in the proper use of fire extinguishers and is familiar with the fire alarm system and/or emergency notification procedures. The fire watch must be present during work, breaks, and at least 30 minutes after the work has ended to guard against fire.

Fuel Gas

  • Acetylene, hydrogen, liquid petroleum (LP-Gas), and other liquefied and non-liquefied gases.

Hot Work

  • Work performed with heat-producing equipment, such as heat guns, soldering tools, welding tools, electric arc cutting equipment, oxygen-fuel gas cylinders, etc.

Hot Work Permit

  • A form that must be completed by the supervisor performing or overseeing the work and approved by the facilities and grounds director prior to performing any hot work to ensure that the area has been thoroughly inspected and that safety and emergency procedures are in place.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Eye protection, helmets, face shields, hand shields, and other types of clothing and equipment designed to protect employees exposed to hazards from welding, cutting, or other hot work.


  • Individual who is responsible for assigning the fire watch, completing the hot work permit, getting approval, and ensuring that all safety measures are in place. 

Hampshire College Facilities and Grounds Trades Involved in the Program

  • grounds
  • heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • plumbers

Procedures for Performing Hot Work

Only employees who have been trained in this program can perform hot work and/or be a fire watch. Outside contractors performing hot work at College properties may follow their own program, but must complete a Hampshire College hot work permit. A fire watch is required for all hot work.

  1. Obtain a hot work permit from the facilities and grounds office. 
  2. Complete a hot work permit, and submit to the facilities and grounds director or his designee for approval. Leave the approved pink copy with the facilities and grounds office.
  3. Assign a fire watch. 
  4. Make sure at least one portable fire extinguisher with an A-B-C rating is in place no more than 25 feet from the work area.
  5. Inspect the area and all tools and equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE).
  6. Ensure that the area is free from combustible materials. Combustible materials must be located a minimum distance of 35 feet beneath or horizontally away from the cutting/welding area. When work or combustible materials cannot be relocated, the material must be protected from possible sparks by fire-resistant shields or noncombustible covers.
  7. Floor, ceiling, or wall openings must also be protected by fire-resistant shields. Openings or cracks in walls, floors, or ducts must be covered to prevent sparks from reaching other areas.  
  8. Hot work cannot be performed in or near rooms with flammable gases, liquids, vapors, lint, or dust. Hot work cannot be performed in an explosive atmosphere. Hot work cannot be performed on containers, equipment, or in hollow spaces/cavities that contain or previously contained flammable fluids, gases, or solids unless these areas have been thoroughly cleaned, inverted, or purged.
  9. Sprinkler protection must not be shut off during hot work. If hot work is required to be performed near sprinkler heads, noncombustible boards or damp cloth can be used to shield the sprinkler heads, but must be removed immediately upon completion of the work. If a building's sprinkler system will be impaired or inoperable for any reason during hot work, this must be noted on the hot work permit and additional notifications are required.
  10. Goggles, or other suitable eye protection, are required at all times while performing hot work. Other PPE, such as gloves, face shields, helmets, foot protection, and clothing will be worn as required, depending on the task.
  11. Hampshire College personnel are not authorized to perform hot tapping, welding, or other hot work on flammable gas or liquid utility pipelines.
  12. When oxygen-fuel gas welding and cutting will be performed, all equipment, connections, cylinders, and hoses shall be inspected prior to use. Make sure hands/gloves are free from oil prior to handling oxygen cylinders and apparatus. All compressed gas cylinders must legibly identify the gas content. Cylinders that have missing or illegible labels must be returned to the supplier. Cylinders must have the valve protection cap on when not in use and must be transported, used, and stored in an upright position. When not in use, oxygen cylinders must be stored a minimum of 20 feet away from acetylene, propane, natural gas, or any other fuel gas. All cylinders must be stored in areas where they will be protected from tampering or physical damage, heat in excess of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and must be chained, strapped, or otherwise secured to prevent them from being tipped over.
  13. Hampshire College personnel are not authorized to perform electric arc welding and cutting or resistance welding or plasma welding/cutting. Outside contractors performing electric arc welding and cutting and/or resistance welding and/or plasma welding/cutting at Hampshire College must strictly adhere to 527 CMR 39.08 and the requirements specified in OSHA 1910.252.
  14. The fire watch must observe the area for a minimum of 30 minutes after work is completed to ensure that there is no hazard of fire.
  15. Upon the completion of the work and post-job fire watch, note the time and sign the last section of the permit.
  16. Ensure that any smoke detectors and sprinkler heads that were covered or otherwise disabled during the work are uncovered and restored to proper function.
  17. Notify the facilities and grounds director or his designee that the work is complete and submit the white copy of the hot work permit to environmental health and safety. The yellow copy is for the facilities and grounds department that performed the work, or the outside contractor's records.


While the hot work is being performed, the hot work permit will be kept at the work site and made available to all employees performing the work and the fire watch. After completion of the work and the post-work fire watch, the "work completion certification" section of the hot work permit will be completed and reviewed by the supervisor.

Completed hot work permits will be maintained in a separate program file in the environmental health and safety office. All hot work permits and any other program records will be kept for at least one year after their annual review.

Annual Program Review

The Hampshire College hot work program will be reviewed on an annual basis by the facilities and grounds director and environmental health and safety. The review will include:

  • A review of the Massachusetts Fire Prevention regulations and OSHA regulations pertaining to hot work.
  • A review of all hot work permits submitted the previous year.
  • Determining whether the program was adhered to.
  • Determining the need for retraining or additional training for personnel in the program.
  • Determining the need for modifications to the program.

Hot Work Permit (pdf)

rev 6/2012

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