Pressure washing boss urges other firms to join the WJA
The owner of a pressure washing company has explained how being a member of the Water Jetting Association has become an essential part of his business success.
He added: “Being a member of the WJA is now very important to TPC Brickwork Cleaning as a business. It has allowed us to work with bigger clients and has given my team more skills.
“Joining the WJA has been a big part of our success. Our clients can see we take health and safety seriously and attending WJA pressure washing courses has had a big impact on my operatives.
“We have all the knowledge we need to keep ourselves safe, and to do a better job, and to educate the people we work with about the risks of pressure washing, which is just as important.”
Safety knowledge gap
WJA President John Jones said: “I’m delighted that Kris and his team are getting so much out of WJA membership and training. Pressure washing has become so common that many people don’t use the appropriate health and safety procedures.
“The WJA wants to raise awareness of this knowledge gap and promote the advantages of setting high standards in pressure washing, as demonstrated clearly by the experience of TPC Brickwork Cleaning.
“We’d very much like more pressure washing contractors to join the WJA and work with us to raise awareness about health and safety and the clear benefits of the water jetting process.”
Fluid injection injury
Water at pressures as low as 7 bar (100 psi) can puncture skin, causing injury. Pressure washing can be carried out at up to 207 bar (3,000 psi).
This greatly increases the risk of injury from fluid injection and other forms of trauma caused by be struck by equipment or slips and falls.
TPC Brickwork Cleaning, in Southampton, Hampshire, works for house builders throughout the south of England, cleaning newly-built homes as they are made ready for sale.
The company’s teams operate in busy environments where many construction and landscaping professionals do not fully appreciate pressure washing safety hazards, said Kris Jasinski.
“Making sure our equipment is used safely in a controlled environment so everyone on the site is safe is very important to us,” he explained. “The advice and training given by the WJA has been invaluable in helping us do this.
“Communication is very important to how we operate. I hold a toolbox talk on safety every week and we always explain to our worksite colleagues what we’re doing. Our clients value our proactive approach to safety on their sites.”
Pressure washing training
The WJA’s pressure washing training is accredited by City & Guilds. It lasts at least five hours and teaches class-based and practical skills. Attending the course has had a noticeable impact on TPC Brickwork Cleaning teams.
“Being told by an expert training about safety aspects of their work and how to go about doing it better, with improved productivity, has made a big difference,” said Kris Jasinski.
“I could see the difference it made to the way they work straight away. They understand the procedures and they follow them. The expert information and support given by the WJA has also been very useful.
“I would recommend that other pressure washing contractors join the WJA and send their teams on its training courses. It’s been good for our business and I am sure it will help theirs.”
Chemicals, hot water and steam
Under the NACE standards that the WJA follows, pressure washing is defined as a form of ‘low pressure water cleaning’ which covers water jetting activities with pressures up to 207 bar (3,000 psi).
It has a wide range of uses across many industrial sectors, including surface cleaning, machinery degreasing, graffiti removal and chewing gun removal.
Pressure washing can be combined with cleaning chemicals, and hot water and steam. This can enhance its effectiveness but also introduces additional hazards.
The WJA is preparing to launch a new Pressure Washing Code of Practice. The code will set defined standards for pressure washing in the UK, which will benefit contractors and their customers.
It includes sections on training and competency, site and equipment set-up, different types of pressure washing pumps and equipment, and hot water systems.
Also covered is equipment operation, use of personal protective equipment, managing the pressure washing team and how to respond to injuries . There will be advice on risk assessment and a pre-start checklist, as well.