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Hazards of hot work

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2016 | Workers' Compensation

Many people in Virginia perform work that involves materials that reach extremely hot temperatures. Hot work may involve the use of fire, spark-producing tools, or welding and soldering equipment. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, people who do hot work are at risk for injuries from fires, hot work equipment, flammable gas leaks or combustible materials.

Burns from fires or hot tools are a major concern for people who do hot work. OSHA advises employers to relegate all of this type of work to locations where there are no fire hazards like combustible materials and flammable vapors. High heat and sparks should be confined to a safe area, and fire-extinguishing equipment should always be readily available in case of an emergency.

OSHA recommends that an employer designate one employee to stand guard while hot work is being done. The guard can monitor potential fire hazards in the area and check the work area with a gas detector. Grinding equipment that may produce sparks should be considered hot work because the sparks could potentially cause burns or fires. A fire guard and fire prevention equipment should be available when grinding work is being done, according to OSHA.

Severe burns are not just painful, they can also lead to potentially life-threatening infections in some cases. A worker who was burned while doing hot work may have to spend time in the hospital after the accident. An attorney may be able to help a worker in this situation to pursue reimbursement for their lost income by filing a workers’ compensation claim. If a worker has ongoing medical expenses related to their work injury, these damages may be claimed as well.