WJA members make key decisions at AGM
Members of the Water Jetting Association made important decisions at the association’s annual general meeting that will guide decision-making for the next 12 months and beyond.
The WJA – the UK’s member body for the water jetting industry – held its AGM at Celtic Manor Resort, near Newport, South Wales, in June 23rd 2023.
Representatives from more than 20 member organisations gathered at the venue for the event. Member organisations that could not attend also had the chance to submit votes on key decisions made at the AGM.
Tribute to David Kennedy
John Jones, who was voted in as WJA President for a third term, said: “A huge amount of work has been done by WJA members who sit on the association’s committees to progress key developments.
“I’d like to thank them for their commitment, and for the input of representatives of many other members in the UK and internationally who have contributed to the WJA’s work to represent the water jetting industry and support safe, high quality operational practice.”
During the AGM, John Jones led tributes to David Kennedy, the former Director of the WJA, who died in October 2022. He said: “David did such a lot for the WJA and he was such a nice person. All I can say is, I wish he was here.”
He also praised WJA General Manager Leanne Smith, who now leads the WJA office team, for the work she has done over the last 12 months.
New digital systems
This has included, he said, introducing new digital systems for generating and distributing training certificates and managing membership applications and renewals that are reducing the WJA’s carbon footprint, significantly reducing costs and transforming its effectiveness.
The WJA has been working with the Health & Safety Executive in the updating of the association’s codes of practice make clear their importance in setting water jetting standards, both in the UK and internationally, John Jones said.
Presenting his report to the AGM, David Malin, Technical Committee Chairman and Vice-President David Malin, picked up on the theme of the code of practice reviews in thanking Technical Committee and Ruling Council member Jeff Haigh.
Code fully updated
He said: “Hundreds of changes have been made to both codes of practice and Jeff has coordinated the recording of these improvements as they have been recommended by members and by the HSE, many of them very significant. Jeff’s work has been vital over the last 12 months.”
The Blue Code for high pressure and ultra-high pressure water jetting, and the Red Code, for drain and sewer jetting and, in the new document, for surface preparation up to 275 bar with jetting guns that an operative can comfortably hold, were now fully updated, he added.
A key update has been clear advice on the maintenance of water jetting hoses. Hoses used at pressures over 350 bar are recommended to be pressure tested to 1.2 times operating pressure every 12 months.
For hoses used at pressures below 350 bar there is now new guidance in the Red Code, including requirements for keeping a hose register and procedures for carrying out regular hose inspections, in line with PUWER regulations.
David Malin also pointed out that the WJA’s injury treatment algorithm had undergone its one refresh. It has now been turned into a 12-page A4 document that is more easy to follow and use, especially in emergency situations, and is instantly accessible via the WJA website.
Digital training assessment
Training and Safety Committee Chairman Steve Williams praised and thanked Darren Hamilton, who served as the committee’s chairman for during 2022 and until February 2023.
He pointed out that the number of WJA City & Guilds accredited training courses delivered in the UK and internationally had increased by over 250 per cent between 2018 and 2022.
Very positive developments had continued in the last 12 months, he said. Nearly all training delegates are now assessed using the CliKAPAD digital response system, improving engagement and supporting people with varying learning styles.
The Safety Awareness Refresher course now has a practical assessment. For the first time, non-UK training companies can apply to become WJA registered training providers.
New courses launched
A Safety Awareness CNC course and the new Drain, Sewer and Surface Preparation practical module have been launched, and there are plans to introduce additional courses over the next 12 months.
Members at the AGM were given a first chance to view a new video that supports the deliver of the WJA Safety Awareness course.
Steve Williams said: “It’s been a successful 12 months for WJA training, and we have a lot of new initiatives in the pipeline. With the support and guidance of our members, we can continue to achieve great things in the year ahead.”
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