The WaterJet Technology Association (WJTA) welcomed more than 1,100 attendees representing 35 countries to the 2019 WJTA Conference & Expo held Nov. 11–13 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
Record numbers participated in the pre-conference workshop, “Waterjet Technology: Basics and Beyond,” educational “boot camp” sessions, and technical research paper presentations. WJTA introduced a new highly focused, day-long, educational course designed specifically for representatives from industrial plants and facilities where contract cleaning is performed. Live demonstrations featured new pumps, tools, and automation technology operating live and under pressure. More than 90 exhibitors displayed new products
The 2019 meeting also marked the launch of WJTA’s hydroblast operator training and certification program developed in partnership with the Houston Area Safety Council (HASC). In response to varying training programs among contractors and varying or non-existent training requirements from asset owners, as well as the continuing challenges of workforce development and retention, WJTA developed the entry level operator training and certification program based on the recommendations in the association’s “Industry Best Practices for the Use of High Pressure Waterjetting Equipment.”
The training and certification program include the computer-based Foundational Training (FT) and the instructor-led, hands-on Field Verification (FV) instruction and skills evaluation. The hydroblast FT and FV credentials can be transferred between employers, and several petrochemical plants and asset owner groups have already endorsed the WJTA training as a site requirement or best practice.
Additional credentials for hydroblast operators will be considered in the future, and work is already underway to develop a similar training and certification program for vacuum operators based on the WJTA’s “Recommended Practices for the Use of Industrial Vacuum Equipment.”
WJTA Officers, Board Members Take the Helm in New Orleans
Bill Gaff, Vacuum Truck Rentals LLC, and Vacuum Truck Sales and Service, both headquartered in Richland, Mississippi, has been elected the 2019-2021 chairman of the board of the WJTA.
Also elected for the 2019-2021 term are president Bill McClister, La Porte, Texas; vice president Kerry Siggins, StoneAge Inc., Durango, Colorado; secretary Gary Noto, HydroChemPSC, Deer Park, Texas; and treasurer George A. Savanick, South St. Paul, Minnesota.
Newly elected and re-elected board members are James W. Ashmead, DuPont Specialty Products USA LLC, Wilmington, Delaware; Pat DeBusk, USA DeBusk, Houston, Texas; Luis Garcia, Northern
Safety & Industrial, La Porte, Texas; and Drew Waltenbaugh, NLB Corporation, Wixom, Michigan.
Board members who continue to serve remaining terms on the Board of Directors are Jimmy Peck, MPW Industrial Services, Hebron, Ohio; and Alan Smith, BASF, Geismar, Louisiana.
Preparations Under Way for the 2020 WJTA Expo
The 2020 WJTA Expo will be held Nov. 10-11 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The event will continue to feature a variety of hands-on equipment displays, onsite live demos and educational sessions. The 2020 program will also include an update of the popular Asset Owner Educational Track that was introduced in 2019. The asset owner sessions included information specific to the plants and facilities where contract industrial cleaning activities are carried out and sparked high levels of interest and great interaction between asset owner representatives from around the world.
WJTA High Pressure Safety Committee Completes Review of Best Practices
Between September and December 2019, the WJTA High Pressure Safety Committee carried out an in depth review of the WJTA’s orange book, the “Industry Best Practices for the Use of High Pressure Waterjetting Equipment.” In reviewing the orange book, WJTA’s committee considered the current best practices among contractors and sites and the current state of technology within the industry.
Additionally, the committee examined recommendations from the safe work practice guidance of Canada’s WorkSafe BC and the Dutch/Belgian high pressure cleaning manual, which was recently revised by the Stichting Industriële Reiniging (SIR) in the Benelux. Several recommendations from these sources were incorporated into the proposed revision to the WJTA orange book, which is developed primarily for the North American market. The new manual is expected to publish in the first quarter of 2020.
WJTA Vacuum Safety Video in Production
The WJTA has undertaken the development of a new, completely redone, Vacuum Safety Video. The WJTA Vacuum Safety Video is a companion video to the association’s “Recommended Practices for the Use of Industrial Vacuum Equipment” manual. The new video is in production and is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2020. The new half-hour video will include the updates in the third edition manual, such as extensive best practices procedures for loading and off-loading flammables and combustibles, PPE requirements, loading oxidizers, hydro- and pneumatic-excavation, barricading and hose routing, and more.
Global Industrial Cleaning Coalition
WJTA is a founding member of the Global Industrial Cleaning Coalition (GICC). The GICC is a voluntary coalition of international industrial cleaning associations, including WJTA and groups from the U.K., France, the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg), Germany, Korea, the Middle East and elsewhere. The purpose of the GICC is to help save lives and reduce injuries in the industrial cleaning industry through the collaborative development and promotion of basic industrial cleaning principles.
The GICC plans to work on vacuum loading principles, and tentatively plans to hold meetings at the IFAT Trade Fair in Munich, Germany, and the WJTA Expo in New Orleans.
WJTA’s growing membership is a resource for contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, researchers, and asset owners worldwide. Membership at the corporate and individual levels offer access to industry news, information, and collaboration opportunities, as well as recognition for participating in a global, industry-leading safety and technology association. Learn more at wjta.org.