WJTA Hydroblaster Training Program Update

With COVID-19 restrictions in place restricting in-person gatherings and travel, WJTA has been forced to adapt along with other companies and industry groups. The launch of WJTA’s Hydroblaster Training and Certification was scheduled for April 2020, following an in-person train-the-trainer session in Houston.

The in-person session was cancelled, but training and verification of the trainer candidates was held remotely with a bit of ingenuity and flexibility from the participants. The trainer candidates, all of whom are highly experienced industry veterans and safety professionals, will be able to deliver the hands-on WJTA Field Verification training. Trainers and verified training sites will be audited by WJTA Master Trainers to ensure the consistency of training and quality of instruction.

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The Field Verification training covers pre-job setup and inspections, shotgunning, line moleing/pipe cleaning, and tube lancing. The training will be conducted at verified training sites, which have been audited by a WJTA Master Trainer. The training sites have appropriate safeguards for high pressure waterjetting to be conducted safely, and will also have the required pipe, tube and demonstration equipment configurations for trainees to demonstrate cleaning techniques.

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Restrictions Affect WJTA Training Rollout

The formal ‘launch’ of WJTA’s Hydroblaster Training and Certification is scheduled for May 2020. Although continued restrictions will make it challenging for many companies to deliver in-person training, the next few months offer an ideal opportunity for contractors to update their internal training protocols.

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The three-hour, computer-based WJTA Foundational Training (FT) module can be taken at safety council locations around the country, many of which are continuing to operate while implementing social distancing protocols to protect staff and trainees. The FT training can also be accessed outside of the safety council network through remote streaming options.

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The FT training is a pre-requisite for hands-on Field Verification. Companies can immediately begin getting their hydroblasting operator workforce up to date with FT credentials, so that they can undergo Field Verification when in-person training can be done safely.

A number of contractors, labor providers, manufacturers and training entities from around the country have already expressed an interest in providing or obtaining WJTA certification.

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As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, WJTA training will be an important resource for companies who immediately need to bring on and train new workers for cleaning and maintenance projects that were postponed due to restrictions.

WJTA 2020 BOD 2020 Expo Update

Arrangements for the 2020 WJTA Expo continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and the event remains on schedule for Nov. 10-11, 2020, in New Orleans. WJTA leadership and staff will continue to closely monitor public health recommendations, travel restrictions and the business environment to ensure that the event can be held safely and effectively.

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Exhibit space is currently available as well as opportunities to participate in outdoor live equipment demonstrations, where equipment such as waterjet cleaning and robotics can be operated at pressure.

The 2020 Expo will continue to expand on last year’s revamped and well-received educational program with several exciting offerings to be announced shortly. Information on attendee registration, hotel reservations and more will be released as well in the coming weeks. Sign up for email updates wjtaexpo.com or connect with WJTA on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter to stay in the loop.

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WJTA, Members Adapt

WJTA continues to provide support to its members through news and updates; best practices recommendations; safety and training resources; and regular communication. Many WJTA resources can be accessed remotely, including the online Member Search Directory, conference proceedings, and current and back issues of Jet News. The association is evaluating additional digital resources to develop in the near future.

Many WJTA members have continued to provide equipment and cleaning services throughout the COVID shutdowns, with some cleaning contractors offering cleaning/decontamination services and others seeing work continue, such as sewer and drain cleaners dealing with the spike in sewer clogs. Other cleaning and maintenance work has been postponed, meaning many markets will see a ramp up in work as the economy reopens.

Other members have helped by using their supply chains to help procure PPE such as face shields and masks or using their own manufacturing capacity.

“What’s new at WJTA” is a bi-monthly newsletter from the WaterJet Technology Association (WJTA) focused on news pertaining to the sewer and drain cleaning industries. Information is provided by WJTA. To keep up with the latest news, visit wjta.org.

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