Thousands of Construction Workers Took Hot Work Training

NFPA helped to launch the program after a Boston fire killed two firefighters in 2014. Expecting the program to interest other communities, NFPA is planning to expand it.

A tragedy in Boston three years ago spurred the development of a hot work training program that has been highly successful, according to the National Fire Protection Association. NFPA reported that, last week, as the city of Boston remembered Lt. Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy, who died in a 2014 fire, more than 13,000 workers in various construction industry jobs had participated in a training program aimed at preventing similar tragedies.

NFPA's release said the association began working with the Boston Fire Department, City of Boston Inspectional Services, and the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council after the fire was determined to have been started by hot work operations in a nearby building. And in June 2016, the Boston City Council passed an ordinance requiring that, effective Jan. 1, 2017, all persons engaged in hot work operations must obtain a Hot Work Safety Certificate.

"We are privileged to be working with the City of Boston on this critical program that honors the memories of Lieutenant Walsh and Firefighter Kennedy by advancing safety throughout the city and beyond," said Chuck Stravin, NFPA vice president of business development & operations. "The NFPA Hot Work Safety Certificate Program drives training and awareness of the potential dangers associated with hot work along with an understanding of proper safety procedures. While we have trained thousands, we know there are thousands more that will need this training if they plan on doing hot work in Boston."

"There is no greater tribute to these two individuals who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their community than to do everything we can to ensure this never happens again," said Boston Fire Commissioner and Chief of Department Joe Finn.

The release said NFPA anticipates the program will be of interest to communities beyond Boston and is planning for an expansion of the program to meet the need.

Hot Work Safety Certificate Program classes are being offered by local labor organizations. For information, visit www.nfpa.org/bostonhotwork.

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