OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 36 Mining

Section 746 Welding, cutting and soldering

Subsection 746(1)

This subsection prohibits any hot work that could serve as a potential source of a fire or an explosion. Exceptions to this requirement may be approved by the Director according to subsection 746(2).

Subsection 746(2)

From time to time in underground coal mining exceptional circumstances may require the use of hot work activities. The employer may develop safe working procedures in advance of such cases . Once approved by the Director these can be implemented when necessary but each occasion must be reported to the Director with a justification of why it was necessary. These safe working procedures must comply with section 169 of the OHS Code and must also be directed towards mitigating hazards specific to underground coal mines.

The procedures must recognize that hot work such as cutting and welding is only allowed in situations where no other alternative is available. Such procedures typically include the following requirements:

(a) a competent person taking flammable gas measurements before during and after all hot work activities;
(b) before hot work begins;
(c) clearing the work area and area where sparks could land of all combustible materials and either apply stone dust and/or wet down the whole area; and
(d) maintain a fire watch for a long period e.g. 12 to 24 hours after hot work ceases. Section 8 of the OHS Regulation requires that the procedures be in writing and available to workers.

Subsection 746(3)