NFPA Makes Spanish-Language Hot Work Training Available for Massachusetts Workers

"Tens of thousands of construction workers have learned the fundamentals of hot work safety in a practical way, and now their Spanish-speaking co-workers will have access to the same information and knowledge," said Chuck Stravin, NFPA's vice president of Business Development & Operations.

After winning a gold award for its hot work safety training, the National Fire Protection Association has released the content in Spanish to educate Hispanic trade workers in Massachusetts.

The training was developed following a nine-alarm fire in a Boston brownstone that was caused by hot work activity; the fire killed Lt. Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy in March 2014. The Boston Fire Department, Boston Inspectional Services, the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District, and NFPA petitioned the Boston City Council to amend the Boston Fire Prevention Code, and in January 2017, the code was updated to require all construction workers on a job to have earned a Hot Work Safety Certificate in order for a permit to be approved in Boston. The state of Massachusetts followed suit and made the same requirement mandatory as of July 2018.

NFPA was asked by the Boston authorities to develop training for anyone engaged in hot work operations -- any activity involving flame, spark production, and heat, such as welding. NFPA’s hot work classroom training debuted in October 2016 and has since educated more than 33,000 workers. In March 2018, NFPA introduced its Hot Work Safe Practices eLearning module for those working on or supervising hot work operations. The online training won a Brandon Hall Group gold award for excellence in learning in August 2018.

"Collaboration and mutual concern have been the cornerstone of the hot work educational program and is the reason that this training is successfully preparing trade workers. From the onset, we have worked hand in hand with Boston Fire, Boston Inspectional Services Division, and other officials to ensure that construction industry professionals are well-versed on hot work safety challenges and best practices," said Chuck Stravin, NFPA vice president of Business Development & Operations. "Tens of thousands of construction workers have learned the fundamentals of hot work safety in a practical way, and now their Spanish-speaking co-workers will have access to the same information and knowledge."

The hot work material is presented in an interactive 90-minute eLearning course. After completing the course and passing an exam, learners obtain a certificate and are eligible to pull hot work permits throughout the state.

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