Hot Work Policy


Hot Work, as applied in the Facilities Department, is most often associated with welding, brazing, soldering, and cutting – with torch or abrasives. If open flame or abrasive generated sparks are part of the work in non-Hot Work spaces, this policy applies. It applies to St. Olaf staff, faculty, and students, as well as contractors, and each is responsible for knowing and following the Policy.

Hot Work Spaces                                                                                                                          

Facilities shop areas, mechanical rooms, and some construction spaces, can be Hot Work Spaces, but they must be approved as such by a member of the Facilities Department lead team (the AVP, assistant directors, and the grounds manager). When combustibles are present as finishes, furnishings, surfaces, and/or clutter, the Hot Work Policy applies.


Whenever welding, brazing, soldering, and cutting are necessary in non-Hot Work Spaces, the person tasked with the work must inspect the area to assure that combustibles are not close to the Hot Work. If Hot Work cannot be completely isolated, a Fire Watch must also be set up. The Fire Watch is simply a second individual who observes the work, and assures that Hot Work by-products do not reach combustibles.

If a Fire Watch is determined to be necessary the Facilities Department Office must be notified, and the names of the Hot Work staff person or contractor, and the Fire Watch person, must be reported, along with the location and expected duration.

If Hot Work is necessary in spaces that might be accessed by our public, Hot Work signage must be posted, and the immediate area cordoned off.

At the end of the work, the Fire Watch person must report to the office that the work is complete, that the Fire Watch was successful, that the Watch has ended, and that signage has been removed.

Hot Work areas must be cleaned up, and clutter or oily residues on the floors and other surfaces, if present, removed before Hot Work proceeds.

Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment will be provided by the College for faculty, staff, and students.

Contractors are responsible for providing and wearing their PPE.

Control Measures may be necessary to protect combustibles close to the work. A fire extinguisher must be present, for use by trained persons. Measures can include welding shields, fire blankets, and so on.

Failure to use PPE when necessary is a serious issue, and the College will address such a failure on a case by case basis.


Example signage for public areas follows:




CALL 3282