WJA marks bumper year for membership growth
The Water Jetting Association has seen a big uplift in new memberships in the last 12 months as companies and organisations see the advantages of being part of the industry’s representative body.
A total of 32 new members were recruited in 2022/23, the largest annual figure in recent years, with drainage contractors and pressure washing specialists prominent among new joiners.
WJA President John Jones said: “It’s a very good sign that increasing numbers of companies and other organisations are seeing the value of working together in the WJA.
“I believe the uplift reflects a lot of work we’ve done to demonstrate the advantages of joining the body that defines best practice and safety standards in the water jetting industry, across all the sectors.
“We’ve also made it easier for new members to join, with a new digital application process, without compromising the standards we set. In fact, in the last year we’ve increased our standards by strengthening our codes of practice and revising and improving our training.”
Over the last 12 months, the association has run a campaign to promote its latest code of practice – the Purple Code for pressure washing, due to be published by the end of 2023.
WJA General Manager Leanne Smith said: “Pressure washing contractors see the advantage of being a member of the WJA because they can align themselves with their industry’s standards.
“Increasing numbers of service buyers specify membership of the WJA in their tender documents for water jetting contracts. This can only be good for safety and productivity in our industry.”
Among the new C5 pressure washing members is No Graffiti, which delivers graffiti removal and surface cleaning services primarily to local authorities in North West England.
Company Director Simon Tuke said: “Being a member of the WJA will help us show we set high standards, which is important when working for local councils. We’ll also make sure our operatives receive WJA pressure washing training.”
For the first time, also, smaller and start-up drainage contractors have been able to take advantage of a new member category, C7 Drain and Sewer, with criteria specifically designed to meet their requirements.
A new member that has taken advantage of this new category is 1066 DPS, a small drainage and plumbing business based in South London.
Company Director Andy Couldrey said: “A lot of associations make it difficult for small companies and sole traders to join them, so I was really pleased the WJA has a way for us to become a member at an affordable cost.
“I’ve worked in the drainage industry for over 30 years, but when I attend the WJA’s training courses I was really impressed. I learned a lot that’s been extremely useful.
“Also, the WJA has been very helpful with technical information. If I ask a question, I get an answer quickly. It’s been very impressive. I’m definitely glad we’ve joined.”
At the other end of the scale, Bilfinger UK, part of a global industrial services business, has also joined as a C1 member.
With operations in Warrington and Aberdeen, it delivers a wide range of industrial cleaning and cold cutting services to the petrochemicals and oil and gas industries, both onshore and offshore.
Brian Swankie, Bilfinger UK’s Specialist Services Department Manager, said: “The WJA is the recognised representative organisation for our industry and promotes best practice, so we need to lead by example by being part of it.”
Another new C1 member is Gorilla Corrosion, which has just established a new specialist water jetting division. Its Operations Manager is Craig Clark, who has been involved in water jetting since the 1980s.
He said: “If you’re operating in this industry, in my view, you have to be in the WJA. A lot of our clients expect that to be the case. We’re also very happy to promote the WJA in everything we do. We believe in setting the highest operational and safety standards, just like the WJA does.”
Training specialist AIS Survivex, a major training provider in the energy sector, has joined the WJA as a C4 associate member as part of its application to become a WJA registered training provider.
The company’s General Manager, Jamie Purves, said: “We have a number of clients who require water jetting training and we’re keen to provide it. We’re very much looking forward to working with the WJA to promote its training to the energy industry.”
Another new C1 member is Cappagh Contractors, which delivers water jetting services for large water utility companies.
Its Head of Trenchless Innovation, Dean Hansford, said: “We’re pleased to be joining the WJA. We want to take a proactive approach to water jetting safety and operational excellence and that must include being part of the industry body that defines the standards we work to.”
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