What’s New at WJTA – Conference Cancellation, Scholarship Program, Training and Safety Video

WJTA Hydroblast Training and Certification

WJTA’s computer-based Foundational Training, the first component of its two-part hydroblast operator certification, has been revised. The updated module includes additional treatment of automated hydroblasting, a new voiceover, updated imagery, and several content updates to align with the association’s current Industry Best Practices for the Use of High Pressure Waterjetting Equipment.

WJTA Announces Cancellation of 2021 Conference & Expo

WJTA leadership and administrative staff have continued to monitor recent outbreaks of COVID-19 and impacts for our members and communities. On Aug. 25, the association announced the decision not to hold the 2021 WJTA Conference & Expo, which was scheduled for Oct. 26-28 in New Orleans.

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Without question, the WJTA’s primary concern has continued to be ensuring the safety of participants. This decision was difficult, however, the current spread of the COVID delta variant, local public health restrictions, and feedback from the industry and exhibitors, along with uncertain projections for the fall, make it impossible to hold an October event that is both safe and productive for participants.

Following the successful 2019 Conference & Expo’s increased attendance, expanded educational opportunities and positive feedback and the cancellation of WJTA 2020, the 2021 WJTA Conference & Expo was expected to be one of our best events.

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After the cancellation announcement, Louisiana has also dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Our thoughts and support go out to all affected colleagues and communities. WJTA looks forward to returning to New Orleans next year for the 2022 WJTA Conference & Expo, Nov. 2-3, which will include technical whitepapers planned for 2021, as well as expanded educational and in-person networking opportunities.

Scholarship Program

New Fourth Edition WJTA Blue Book Released

WJTA Blue Book

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A new edition of the WJTA Recommended Practices for the Use of Industrial Vacuum Equipment has been released and is currently available as both a full-sized manual and pocket-sized operator handbook. The revisions include several noteworthy changes.

It is recommended that a medical alert card for vacuum suction incidents be carried by operators. In the event of an injury, the suggested wording on the card would offer information to healthcare providers on the potential nature of the injury and treatment considerations.

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The vacuum tanks meet the OSHA definition of a confined space, necessitating specific entry procedures. A new example of confined space entry procedures is included to provide additional information. The revised manual has added recommended hand signals for starting and shutting down the vacuum unit, similar to the hand signals recommended for waterjetting operators in the WJTA Orange Book.

Additional updates include revisions to the best practice methods for loading and off-loading flammable and combustible liquids, a brief treatment of automated/robotic vacuum tools, and several new definitions added to the glossary.

The full-sized Blue Book manual is redesigned and printed in the same full color format as the recently updated Industry Best Practices for the Use of High Pressure Waterjetting Equipment.

The updated Recommended Practices for the Use of Industrial Vacuum Equipment is available for purchase online through the online store at wjta.org or by contacting the WJTA administrative office.

WJTA Vacuum Safety Video

WJTA vacuum video

A revised vacuum safety video is in production, with a video shoot held in August at MPW Industrial Services in Hebron, Ohio.

WJTA vacuum video

The updated video will cover the safe operation of industrial vacuum equipment, including air movers, combo units and liquid vacs. Also covered is hydro-excavation and pneumatic vacuum excavation with compressed air.

WJTA vacuum video

The video will replace WJTA’s current vacuum video and is updated to reflect changes to the association’s Recommended Practices for the Use of Industrial Vacuum Equipment manual.

Digital Educational Sessions

With the cancellation of the 2021 Conference & Expo, portions of the WJTA educational program are being converted to free digital presentations. These webinars allow the association to continue its mission of educating contractors, asset owners and other stakeholders on important safety and technology topics.

The new sessions represent a continuation of the WJTA’s well-received webinar series launched in August 2020. Visit the WJTA website at wjta.org for details and an up-to-date schedule.