We came across the issue of hotwork today. The question came in because an employee had seen his company require hotwork permits on oil production locations for using a generator near production tanks, but the employee was directed to drive his vehicle up to the edge of the tanks without a hotwork permit. It seemed weird to the employee since one engine was ok and one was not.
In response to this question, we looked at the exact requirements of hotwork permitting. According to OSHA, hotwork comes into play when work has a potential to create sparks within 75 feet of a wellhead. This would require hotwork permits for welding or grinding, but engines would not fall under OSHA’s requirements.
The reason that you sometimes see companies require hotwork permits for vehicles, generators, or other miscellaneous equipment is because companies can always supersede OSHA’s requirements to be more restrictive. While OSHA would not require hotwork permits for vehicles or generators, companies can require the permits for whatever they want.
*Unless specific citations are shown, all answers are based on interpretations provided by authorized officials. As such, all information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.