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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT CREATING A SPECIAL COMMISSION STUDYING CUTTING, WELDING AND HOT WORK PROCESSES REGULATED BY THE STATE FIRE CODE

     Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
     There shall be a special commission to study the regulation of cutting, welding and other hot work processes. The commission shall consist of the following members: 2 members of the senate, 1 of whom shall serve as co-chair and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader; 2 members of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall serve as co-chair and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader; the state fire marshal or a designee; the commissioner of the fire department of the city of Boston or a designee; and 5 members appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be selected from a list of 3 persons nominated by the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, 1 of whom shall be selected from a list of 3 persons nominated by the Massachusetts Building Trades Council, 1 of whom shall be selected from a list of 3 contractors whose businesses regularly perform hot work nominated by the president of Building Trades Employers’ Association of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Inc., 1 of whom shall be selected from a list of 3 contractors whose businesses regularly perform hot work nominated by the president of the Massachusetts chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. and 1 of whom shall have experience and expertise in the cutting, welding and hot work trades.
     The commission shall investigate and study the current requirements for licenses and permits governing cutting, welding and other hot work processes that involve burning or a similar operation that is capable of initiating a fire or explosion to determine if the state fire code adequately protects the safety of the public and first responders. The study shall consider: the current conditions required for the issuance of licenses and permits; the use of supervised details and firewatchers; the adequacy of fees to cover inspection, oversight and other municipal costs; the deterrent effect of penalties for a violation of rules and regulations and cost recovery assessment for damages resulting from the failure to comply with rules and regulations; the training and certification required to perform the work; and other matters that the commission finds would enhance the safety of the work. The commission shall report its findings, including any proposed legislation, to the chairs of the senate and house committees on ways and means, the senate and house chairs of the joint committee on public safety and homeland security and the executive office of public safety and security not later than June 1, 2017.

Approved, October 20, 2016