GULF SOUTH SAFETY ALERT! Safely Performing Hot Work on Hollow or Enclosed Structures

2/8/2017 from the desk of Chris Detillier- HSE Manager
What Safely Performing Hot Work on Hollow or Enclosed Structures
Where All Job Sites, all crafts need to be aware of hazards of Hot Work at the facility.

Hollow or Enclosed Structures
Hollow or enclosed structures are objects on which employees work, but that are not large enough for them to enter. These structures are not vented to the atmosphere. Hollow or enclosed structures come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Examples include, but are not limited to, drums, vessels, inaccessible voids, piping, crane pedestals, railings, vents, and container frames.
Explosion and Fire Hazards
During hot work on hollow or enclosed structures precautions must be taken to protect workers from exposure to a range of hazards such as flammable or toxic gases, liquids, or residues; combustible preservatives; solvents, degreasers or cleaning chemicals; and high-pressure or vacuum effects due to fluctuating temperatures.

Sources of Flammable or Explosive AtmospheresSafety Alert 52- Safely Performing Hot Work on Hollow or Enclosed Structures
Flammable or explosive atmospheres in hollow or enclosed structures can result from many sources, including:
• Cargo containers may contain various types of chemicals. The structure of the
container or the container coating can absorb chemicals and emit toxic gases.
• Rusting metals caused by oxidation can create an explosive atmosphere due to
the release of hydrogen gas.
• Carbon monoxide gas released when welding on a hollow or enclosed structure
can accumulate to a high enough concentration to become explosive.
• Flammable gas may enter a hollow or enclosed structure, an explosion can occur
when an ignition source such as welding is present.

Control Measures
Workers involved in hot work operations need to be trained on the fire hazards of hot work, the
use of firefighting equipment, and the hot work permitting process. All structures must be cleaned, vented, and the atmosphere must be tested by a designated person to determine is not hazardous. Be sure to open hollow or enclosed structures to release pressure that builds up during heat application. Always wear appropriate PPE when performing hot work.

For questions or concerns, please contact Chris Detillier at 985-354-4043 or

This entry was posted in News, Safety and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.