When taking out public liability insurance you will most likely be asked whether or not you undertake any work involving welding, cutting or grinding etc.

Generally these are known as ‘hot works’.

Insurance policies treat hot work in one of two ways. Some policies exclude it all together, whilst other policies cover it subject to certain conditions.

In this guide we’ll take a look at the implications of hot works on insurance.

What is Hot Work?

Some insurance companies have different ideas on what should be considered as hot work, but generally it will include the following activities:

  • Cutting
  • Heating
  • Welding
  • Grinding

Basically any type of work which results in the generation of heat.

Work that involves heating appliances is not regarded as hot work unless your actual activities are generating heat.

For example if you install or maintain heaters, ovens, hotplates etc but do not undertake any cutting, heating, welding or grinding, then the work would not be considered to be ‘hot’.

When it comes to cutting, generally hot work involves cutting metal, steel or other materials that can generate significant heat during the cutting process.

Who is Affected?

The most commonly affected business types by this issue are boilermakers and welders, however potentially all trade businesses could be affected depending on their work activities.

Is Hot Work Covered?

Most public liability insurance policies will cover hot work, however virtually all policies will have special conditions or restrictions in place.

The most common condition is that all hot work is done in accordance with Australian Standard AS1674. This standard mainly relates to welding, but it is relevant to all hot works.

Some insurers take things a little further and have put in place additional conditions and specific precautions which must be undertaken, such as how far away the work must be undertaken from other flammable materials.

It’s important to keep in mind that a small number of insurers exclude hot works from their policies completely, so you need to check this if you are undertaking any such work.

More Information

If you do undertake any business activities involving heating, welding, cutting or grinding it is important to let your insurance broker about it.

Your insurance broker will then be able to discuss the ramifications with you and select an insurance policy that is best going to suit your needs.

Hot work doesn’t mean you can’t get insurance, but it is an important issue to consider before taking out a new policy or when reviewing your existing cover.