New State Wide Requirement – Hot Work Certification

As discussed in a previous blog post here, the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations (BFPR) has recently submitted for approval a new version of 527 CMR 1.00, Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code. The BFPR is the board responsible for promulgating the Commonwealth’s Fire Safety Code.

One of the major code changes for the construction industry is the introduction of an amendment to Chapter 41, Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work. Section 41.7 now requires individuals to provide documentation showing they have successfully completed training in the last 12 months that is approved by the State Fire Marshal covering the following topics:

  • 527 CMR 1.00 Chapter 41, Hot Work Operations
  • 29 CFR 1910.252 Subpart-Q Welding, Cutting, and Brazing
  • NFPA 51B, Standard for Fire Prevention During Cutting, Welding, Brazing, and Other Hot Work, 2014 Edition
  • NFPA 241, Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alternation, and Demolition Operations, 2013 Edition
  • ANSI Z49, Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes, 2012 Edition

This training requirement applies to any individuals performing any of the following roles of the hot work process:

  • Serving as Permit Authorizing Individual (PAI), (i.e. owners or general contractors issuing daily/weekly internal hot work permits)
  • Perform as a fire watch
  • Perform, supervise, or delegate any hot work operation including many activities defined as hot work by NFPA 51B, several of which may not be initially thought of as such (e.g. metal chop saw cutting)

In essence, every individual involved in the hot work process from permit review and approval through the completion of the hot work is required to obtain additional training which covers all aspects of hot work safety. This code change stems from a requirement in the City of Boston requiring individuals applying for a hot work permit or conducting hot work to obtain a Hot Work Safety Certificate, which went into effect in January of 2017. This amendment rolls out this requirement state wide after seeing positive results of the requirements within the City.

The Board has acknowledged that this change in regulation will require a large number of individuals to attend training classes in order to obtain that certification. For this reason, they pushed off the effective date of the training requirement until July 1, 2018, while the rest of the code goes into effect on July 1, 2018.