What is a hot work permit?

Updated April 17, 2017

Hot work is any type of work that uses an open flame or produces sparks that could start a fire. A hot work permit is documented advanced approval for a person to do hot work in a specific area.

Hot Work

Examples of work that requires a hot work permit in most places include welding, burning, brazing, soldering with propane, cutting with oxyacetylene and grinding metals that produce sparks.

Fire Watch

A fire watch is someone who watches for fires while the work is being done. This is usually required to do hot work and this is indicated on the hot work permit.

Safe Hot Work Area

A safe area where the hot work is to be done must be specified on the permit.

Issuing Permit

A facility manager, the engineering department or an area safety representative usually issues hot work permits.


After the hot work is completed, the worker is usually required to inspect the area and make sure there are no fires. The worker must sign the permit stating that the inspection was completed and return it to the person who issued it.


Hot work permits are used to lessen the chances of fires breaking out by making sure only qualified individuals are doing the work in a safe area and a safe manner.

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