BOSTON (3/28/2024)—Last week the Senate unanimously passed legislation to boost safety for people conducting “hot work”—welding, plasma cutting, and spark-producing construction—by requiring the state to create a public database of violations of the fire prevention statute, and a public notification system to alert workers of violations.

The passage of S.1485—An Act relative to violation of regulation regarding hot work processes—comes in the days following the ten-year anniversary of the tragic nine alarm fire in the Back Bay, started by welders working on a nearby iron railing, that resulted in the deaths of two Boston firefighters.

The Senate bill would work to prevent such tragedies by promoting transparency and prioritizing safety for Massachusetts firefighters. “This legislation represents historic regulatory reforms that the Walsh-Kennedy Commission helped institute across the hot works and welding industry in Massachusetts.

Passing this legislation will ensure that the critical reforms, training, oversight, and accountability needed to prevent tragedies like the Back Bay fire, will be the law of the land. We do this in honor law of Boston Fire Lieutenant Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy so that their sacrifices are not in vain,” said Senator Nick Collins (DBoston), primary sponsor of the bill.

Having been passed by the Senate, the bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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