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Importance of being safe when completing hot work

Texans who work in the manufacturing and construction industries may be required to perform hot work as a regular part of their jobs. Hot work involves welding, burning, grinding, using power tools that produce sparks, soldering and cutting. All of these activities may expose workers to a risk of being severely injured from burns or explosions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration advises workers and their employers to follow certain safety guidelines when performing hot work. Employers should make certain that the areas in which the work is performed are clear from debris that could present fire risks. They should also have air-monitoring equipment to test for the build-up of flammable gases. If the gases are present in concentrations of 10 percent or greater, the work should be stopped. Making certain that the rooms are well-ventilated can help to reduce the risk of explosions from combustible vapors.

Employees should always follow safety protocols while performing hot work. This includes wearing protective eyewear and clothing. They should make certain that they inspect grinding equipment before they begin using it to make certain that it is in good working order. This can help prevent sparks and metal shavings shooting off during grinding, potentially causing fires and injuries.

Even when all safety recommendations are followed, however, workplace accidents can happen, and employees who are injured in one often need medical care and are forced to miss work for extended periods. Most employers in Texas are required to have workers' compensation insurance coverage that can provide these types of benefits to an injured worker, and an attorney can often be of assistance with the preparation of a claim and ensuring that it is timely filed.

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