Promoting new initiatives


  • This article was originally written by Mr. David Kennedy, WJA Director, for the EWJI Yearbook 2021.

The Water Jetting Association, the member organisation for the water jetting industry in the UK, became a member of the European Water Jetting Institute during 2021, and is now looking forward to working with other members of the institute to further shared aims.

We’re very pleased to have joined the EWJI. Sharing experiences and expertise and working together to promote water jetting must be a good thing for our industry.

The WJA’s interests and objectives are closely aligned. We are very happy to share our expertise to support safe jetting internationally. Working within the EWJI will help us achieve that.

It has been a very busy year for us, not least because of the intensive work needed to support members during COVID-19 pandemic, which has involved putting in place special arrangements to allow training to continue in COVID-19 secure environments.

This was achieved with the close cooperation of member contractors, training providers, and training instructors. They had to significantly change their practices during the pandemic and show patience and resilience in managing training needs, for which the WJA is very grateful.

Strengthening governance

At its 2021 AGM, held as an online video event due to the pandemic, the WJA agreed significant improvements to its governance to help promote its work and further its aims.

They include the introduction of a marketing and communications committee and the strengthening of the roles of all three WJA committees so they are best placed to support members with best practice in water jetting.

The aim is to accelerate the delivery of new initiatives that benefit members and the water jetting industry as a whole, especially in terms of safety, operational performance and commercial opportunities.

The WJA also has a new president, John Jones, who was previously the chairman of the training and safety committee. John thanked the previous president, Ron Heward, especially for his leadership during the pandemic.

John also made clear the WJA has a firm foundation from which to promote and further the aims of an exciting industry with an ever-growing number of applications for high pressure and ultra-high pressure water jetting.

The new chairman of the training and safety committee is long-standing committee member Darren Hamilton. He is looking forward to driving forward exciting initiatives to improve training and safety.

Competency course

They include the roll-out of the WJA’s new ABBE-accredited Water Jetting Technician Certificate course, a Level 2 qualification, the first competency qualification for water jetting.

The course builds on the WJA’s City & Guilds accredited training programme, and is up of 40% training and 60% on-the-job assessment. Successful candidates receive a WJA competent operative card that can be renewed every three years by completing a two-module refresher course.

Obtaining the certificate also qualifies candidates for a blue CSCS card, which denotes a skilled worker within this sector.

Candidates must first complete the WJA’s Safety Awareness course plus the one-day Surface Preparation practical module and one other practical module, selecting from Hydrodemolition, Tube and Pipe Cleaning, or Drains and Sewers.

They then complete a programme of workplace assessment, with progress monitored by WJA-approved assessors, while completing a detailed workbook, in a process expected to take at least one year.

Coding safer jetting

New medical guidelines for managing injuries are among the important additions to a revised Code of Practice due to be published by the Water Jetting Association (WJA) during 2021.

It has been the first time the WJA’s Blue Code of Practice for the Use of High Pressure and Ultra High Pressure Water Jetting has been fully updated since 2015, and the ninth time since it was first published in 1982.

The guidelines for the management of industrial high pressure fluid injection injuries (IHPFIIs) are based on research commissioned by the WJA and carried out by a team of eminent trauma doctors.

They are designed in the form of an algorithm that takes the reader step-by-step through actions needed to treat injuries from the moment they occur through emergency treatment at hospital and ongoing care. The algorithm is available as a free download via the WJA website home page.

Other significant changes include the inclusion of a hierarchy of control in an appendix to the section on risk assessment and a new appendix providing extra information and advice about water jetting personal protective equipment (PPE).

The WJA also has a ‘Red Code’ for the Safe Working and Use of Water Jetting in Drains and Sewers, which will now be revised and updated as well, during 2022.