Health, Safety & Medical
Tell us about your medical experience
Video interview with WJA Senior Medical Advisor Dr Sancho Rodriguez-Villar
In this video interview, Dr Sancho Rodriguez-Villar, the WJA’s senior medical advisor, talks in detail about the risks in terms of injuries that can be caused by water jets, notably through hydraulic fluid injection.
He discusses the findings of research he led, with Dr Robert Kennedy (PhD), the WJA’s clinical research coordinator, into the causes and effects of these injuries.
He also describes the correct actions to take to treat water jetting injuries in line with the WJA Water Jetting Injury Treatment Algorithm which was developed by the research team.
Click Here to download the WJA Water Jetting Injury Treatment Algorithm.
Health and Safety
Striving to continuously improve health, safety and wellbeing has always been fundamental to the Water Jetting Association’s purpose and to our work.
The safe use of water jetting equipment is a core element of our codes of practice through the promotion of safe systems of work underpinned by adherence to an effective hierarchy of controls.
It is also central to the courses available in our City & Guilds training programme and our ABBE accredited Level 2 Water Jetting Technician course.
Our work on health and safety is led by the voluntary members of our technical committee, our training and safety committee, and our ruling council who have worked in the water jetting industry for many years.
Working with Others
The WJA works closely with its members and other agencies to monitor water jetting health, safety and wellbeing performance and assist in making improvements where possible.
For example, we work in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to ensure the latest guidance on safety at work legislation and regulations is built into our codes of practice and advice to members.
Through our close relationship with members, the WJA continuously reviews its health and safety guidance, for example to ensure it is fit for purpose given the rapid development of water jetting technologies and techniques.
This approach is reflected in the way we update our codes of practice. For example, both our red code for the safe use of water jetting equipment in drains and sewers and the blue code for the safe use of high pressure and ultra-high pressure water jetting equipment were extensively updated in 2023. Many of the changes related to health and safety.
We also introduce new guidance where it is needed. For example, a new WJA code of practice for pressure washing was due to be published by the end of 2023.
The WJA always seeks to improve health and safety controls. This is reflected in our revision of the red code of practice. The new version has 156 instances where the word ‘should’ for an action has been changed to ‘shall’, indicating that it must be carried out.
The WJA also continuously reviews and improves, where possible, its training programme to support safe water jetting. For example, our Safety Awareness Refresher course, which operatives must attend every three years to keep their WHA training card, now incorporates a practical assessment as well as class-based learning
Promoting Health and Safety
A primary purpose of the WJA is to promote water jetting health and safety both in the UK and internationally. For example, we issue safety alerts to share information and learning that will help others keep operatives safe.
The WJA also produces medical cards, that alert health professionals about possible water jetting injuries, quick reference guides and warning signage to help water jetting teams to work safety and safeguard the welfare of others.
WJA Injury Treatment Algorithm
The WJA has developed a water jetting injury treatment algorithm that gives step-by-step best practical guidance on water jetting injuries from first response through to definitive hospital care and recovery.
The algorithm can be purchased from the WJA shop as an A2 laminated poster. It is now also available in an A4 digital or printed booklet, making it easier to use in an emergency. Both versions can be viewed on our website.
Improving Safety Through Research
The WJA supports research into water jetting safety. For example, the injury treatment algorithm was created as a result of research commissioned by the WJA into fluid injection injuries.
This study was led by Dr Sancho Rodriguez-Villar, the WJA’s senior medical advisor, and Dr Robert Charles Kennedy (PhD), our clinical research coordinator.
European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery 2019 research paper, Click Here to view now.
Free Medical Advice
Dr Rodriguez-Villar is always willing to offer completely confidential advice to water jetting professionals about injuries. He wants to ensure people obtain the best medical assistance. He can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org