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HOT WORK ON EXISTING LIVE PIPELINES

This Talk is prepared to cover preparations and precautions required before any Hot Work may commence and  which have to be observed while Hot Work is being carried out on live existing pipelines.                                                                                                                                                                            
OBTAIN ALL REQUIRED WORK- PERMITS AND ENSURE YOU ARE WORKING ON THE RIGHT LINE AND THE LINE IS PROPERLY ISOLATED, DEPRESSURIZED AND PURGED.  
                                                                                                                                                 AREA PREPARATIONS – CLEARING

            A.      Removal of all combustible materials from the work area (waste, fuel, flammable chemicals, paints, thinners, etc.)

            B.      Removal of empty drums and gas cylinders.

            C.     General clean-up of the work area (also to be done at the end of each shift).

            D.     Access and escape ways to be kept clear.

            E.      Preparations to avoid hydrocarbon or other combustible material from entering the hot work area; check overflows, drain systems, vents, relief lines, etc.

                     MECHANICAL PREPARATIONS

            A.      Fire blankets to be positioned below hot work locations, to protect against sparks and welding scatter.  Blankets to be kept wet.  Screens of fire retardant material are to be constructed around the hot work location to contain grinding sparks and weld arcs.

            B.      When working adjacent to "live" areas, seal area off with canvas to prevent the tripping of alarm systems in those areas.

           

            C.     Position notices "HOT WORK IN PROGRESS" and "AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY", at all entrances and boundary areas which lead into or run adjacent to the hot work area.

            D.     No fiber ropes or slings to be used near the hot work area.

            E.      Prior to any hot cutting taking place, pipes should be clearly marked by an   authorized person.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  FIRE PREVENTION
            A         Fire hoses to be run and pressurized.
            B.      Fire extinguishers to be positioned at the work site.
            C.     Aluminum scaffold decking is preferred, but wet fire blankets should suffice.
            D.     Fire-Watch to be posted at site.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                              WELDERS AND WELDING EQUIPMENT

            A.      Whenever possible, earth returns should be coupled directly to the work being welded and to an independent earth.  Earth returns should not be connected in such a way that the path of the current is outside the designated safe area.

            B.      No earthing cables are to be connected to pipes containing hydrocarbons.

            C.     Welding cables must in good condition with no cuts or breaks in the insulation.

            D.     Welders to be supplied with receptacles for electrode stubs.

            E.      For electric welding, voltage should be kept to a minimum for efficient welding.

            F.      Hoses should be kept for one type of gas only.  Red for acetylene and green for oxygen.

            G.     Hoses should be examined before use for correct couplings, signs of deterioration and signs of slitting or drying out, which may give rise to leakage.

                     INSTRUCTIONS TO BE OBSERVED BY WORK PARTY

            A.      Access to the hot work area to be restricted to a minimum of people.

            B.      All hot work to stop immediately on the receipt of a gas alarm.  This work should only re-start with specific instructions from the permit issuer.

            C.     Any dangerous incident (near miss) to be reported immediately.

            D.     A responsible person should be appointed to stand-by at the welding sets for the immediate shutdown of all the sets and gas cylinders in case of alarm.


            E.      Ensure all permits are validated and signed-off at the end of the shift. 

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