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Hot Work – RC7

RISCAuthority publication RC7 – Recommendations for hot work has been republished and is posted in ATLAS.


This is considered to be the authoritative document on the hazards and risk control procedures over what has been, and remains, a leading cause of fire losses in commercial and industrial premises. It is therefore essential that this is fully recognised by Consultants and the guidance contained in RC7 employed in the assessment of hot work procedures and the formulation of risk improvements. Reference should be made to the Survey Manual Technical Procedures in ATLAS and the section on Hot Work Controls, as regards to guidance on the implementation of permit systems.


The latest version of RC7 has been brought up to date as regards fire safety legislation and some of the associated reference documents. Otherwise, the alterations of note are as follows:


  • Specific reference is made to the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) and that hot work should never be conducted in an area identified in the DSEAR risk assessment as a hazardous zone, unless air sampling following shutdown of the plant or operation has certified the area as non-hazardous.

  • Emphasis is given to hot work conducted on construction sites and buildings undergoing refurbishment.

  • When dealing with the inspection of voids prior to hot work being conducted, specific emphasis is given to timber framed buildings and heritage properties. 

  • The hazards associated with acetylene are accentuated and reference made to RC49 – Recommendations for reducing business interruption: Part 1: Acetylene cylinders involved in fire (also posted in ATLAS.

  • Mention is made of the need for gas welding and cutting equipment to be fitted with the appropriate safety devices, including flashback arrestors.


Where work has been undertaken in a high hazard area (defined as an area where the fire risk assessment indicates a significant risk from hot work), a continuous fire watch of 60 minutes, or for such period as determined by a risk assessment, is recommended.


Continuing to emphasize the hazards presented by hot work and the importance of implementing robust controls, the RISCAuthority/FPA has released a free hot works training DVD and a hot works site induction toolkit. The full range of RISCAuthority/FPA hot works products is available at www.thefpa.co.uk/search?q=hot%20work.

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