Safe Temporary Heat on Construction Jobsites

Many of the safety requirements for temporary heat may seem like common sense, but our safety consultants often see obvious safety hazards while inspecting jobsites. Project managers and superintendents should take the time to be sure they are meeting all safety requirements, obvious or not.

When bringing temporary heaters onto a jobsite, check to make sure that the heater(s) you’re using are ANSI-certified. Liquid-fired heaters must have a safety control to stop the flow of fuel in case the flame should go out. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper set-up and use of the heater(s). You can also check in with a safety consultant or the local fire department to determine the requirements that would be specific to your jobsite and location.

Spaces where heaters are used must be well-ventilated. Install CO detectors in the area to detect any buildup of carbon monoxide. Heaters cannot be left running when a jobsite is unattended. If heaters must be run overnight, fire watch personnel must be present. Keep all flammable and combustible materials away from the heater. Do not lay coats or other flammable materials over or near a heater. LP gas cylinders must be stored outside in an upright position and secured so they don’t fall over. Protect the cylinders from mobile equipment moving in the area and post No Smoking signs in the storage area. Do not allow mobile equipment to drive over flexible fuel lines. When the heater(s) are not being used, shut off the LP gas supply at the cylinder valve. A fire extinguisher must be kept nearby in case of an emergency.

While all of these tips will help ensure the safe use of a temporary heating device, it is necessary that all employees working in the area where these devices are used are trained in the hazards and safety requirements. A toolbox talk on these devices is recommended before they are put into use.

 

This information is provided as a service to you by Compliance Consultants, Inc.

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