I am looking to create a hot work permit to work process. Do you have any safety guidance when carrying out hot works or other processes that produce a flame or other ignition source?
SafeWork NSW recommends persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) that undertake hot works implement a hot work permit system to assist the PCBU to discharge its general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers and others in the workplace.
Relevantly, SafeWork NSW published a safety alert on the topic in September 2018, which sets out some key features of a hot work permit system and the typical key measures to be considered before commencing any hot work on site.
SafeWork NSW has also developed an approved code of practice for welding processes.
Following an approved code of practice will assist a PCBU to achieve compliance with the health and safety duties in the Work Health and Safety Act (NSW) (Act) and Work Health and Safety Regulation (NSW) (Regulation). Codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings under the Act and Regulation. Courts may regard a code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk, risk assessment or risk control, and may rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates.
We note that the codes of practice deal with particular issues and may not cover all relevant hazards or risks. The health and safety duties require duty-holders to consider all risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations and codes of practice exist.
SafeWork NSW’s safety alert also refers PCBUs to the Australian Standard AS 1674.1 Safety in Welding and Allied Processes Part 1: Fire Precautions (Standard), which provides guidelines with respect to hot work activities and an example of a typical hot work permit.