How do you manage hot works risks?

Article Publish Date: Wednesday 6 September 2017

During 2016 the average loss from hot working fires was almost £250,000, but there was a single loss in 2010 that amounted to almost £50,000,000*.



So what is hot work?

It’s any activity that generates or requires the use of flame, heat or sparks. Whether it’s working with tar boilers on roofs, welding pipes or even drilling holes, an increased risk to your business exists. 

The best way to prevent incidents from hot work is to avoid hot methods of working in the first place. Choose alternative systems of work (such as using compression fittings instead of soldered joints). If there’s no other means, then you must make sure that hot work is carried out safely.

Hot work could be carried out by your own team or you may use third party contractors. Depending on the type of work being undertaken by your own staff you may consider a hot work permit unnecessary, but hot work undertaken by contractors should always be subject to a permit.

When a contractor is used, it’s essential to make sure they’re competent to complete the planned work, that appropriate supervision is in place at all times and that they stand by the hot work permit procedures. You should also check that the contractor has appropriate liability insurance in place.

Aviva produce Loss Prevention Standards (LPS) on hazards that exist and suitable precautions and controls that can help manage your risks. Both Hot Work Operations LPS and Managing Contractors LPS are available online to give deeper insight into hot working and associated controls.

If you’d like more information or assistance visit Aviva Risk Management Solutions or contact us at


* RiscAuthority figures

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