September 2004
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Torching safety | Safe Solutions

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Torching safety

by Peter Greenbaum
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One summer morning, Joe and his crew were working on a small office roof. It was a torch-applied job that required two torching wagons, as well as hand torches.

Joe had worked for Guildhall Roofing for five years and had gained valuable experience as a foreman. For this project, he had met with the building owner and discussed possible torching hazards. They inspected the deck's underside and the building's attic space for potentially hazardous conditions, such as insulation and flammable materials. They also had inspected the building for flammable or hazardous materials that could ignite if exposed to the torches.

Before work began, Joe ensured the roof's surface was noncombustible so it wouldn't be ignited by torch flames. He checked that there were enough fire extinguishers nearby and made sure workers were wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, including eye and face protection, long-sleeved shirts buttoned at the wrist, work gloves, long pants and high-top work boots with sturdy soles.

Joe made sure appropriate fall protection, such as warning lines for the low-slope roof system, was in place and the torching equipment was in good operating condition. The workers had been trained in the use of torches, and Joe felt confident about the job. He had explained the local fire codes and safety regulations to them and made certain the telephone number of the local fire department was programmed into several of the crew members' cell...



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