The American Petroleum Institute (API) published updated guidelines on March 29 to enhance the safe performance of welding, cutting and other hot work in refineries, gas plants, petrochemical plants and other facilities in the petroleum and petrochemical industries. 

Recommended Practice (RP) 2009, Safe Welding, Cutting and Hot Work Practices in the Petroleum and Petrochemical Industries, 8th edition, updates and revises industry recommended best practices to help prevent injuries and incidents during welding operations.

“Welders have one of the highest occupational risks in the construction industry. Following the guidelines of RP 2009 in the petroleum and petrochemical industry will help reduce incidents during welding operations,” Anchal Liddar, senior vice president of API’s global industry services (GIS), said in a release. 

Personnel engaged in hot work should have a comprehensive understanding of the potential hazards associated with the activity and materials involved. RP 2009 was updated to include precautions to prevent fires and incidents during welding operations, proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and an awareness of the hazards of inhalation of welding fumes. Additionally, it includes specific guidance to evaluate procedures for certain types of work equipment in service and supports the UN Sustainable Development Goal #8 for decent work and economic growth and #9 for resilient infrastructure. 

RP 2009 is consistent and compatible with the American National Standards Institute/American Welding Society standard Z49.1, Safety in Welding, Cutting and Allied Processes, which provides further details on welding equipment, PPE and certain procedures. The standard is also aligned with the National Fire Protection Association’s 51B, Standard for Fire Prevention During Welding, Cutting and Other Hot Work, which focuses on fires and explosions. Previous editions of RP 2009 are referenced in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OHSA) standards as a resource and cited in state regulations. 

API will be hosting a free webinar May 4 to cover the updates to RP 2009.