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New WJA Red Code updates drain jetting standards

The Water Jetting Association has published a new edition of its Red Code of Practice with important new information and advice about water jetting in drains and sewers.

The code of practice by members and stakeholders, including the Health and Safety Executive, to ensure it sets the most up-to-date standards for water jetting practices.

WJA President John Jones said: “The WJA Red Code plays an essential role in setting recognised standards for water jetting in the drainage and water utility industries in the UK and internationally, so this is an important step forward.

Drainage equipment and techniques are always evolving, in some areas very rapidly, so we were very keen to thoroughly update code.

The HSE has liaised closely with us on key sections in the code of practice, because it sees it as a vital benchmark for safe practice.

This gives our members and all interested parties working in the drainage and wastewater sectors confidence that the WJA Red Code is robust and authoritative.”

Code strengthened

The revision process has led to 3,200 changes to the Red Code. For example, its formal title has been extended to include surface preparation up to 275 bar.

This acknowledges the addition of new advice in the code of practicerelated to washdown activities, often carried out by drainage and wastewater operatives, especially where there has been a sewage flood or where larger wastewater assets are being cleaned.

Guidance on key activities has been strengthened – with 156 instances where the word ‘should’ for an action has been changed to ‘shall’ indicating that the action must be carried out.

There is new guidance for hire companies and their clients to clarify their roles and responsibilities for ensuring equipment is handed over in a safe condition and advice on the competency of users is understood.

The Red Code also includes additional advice on foot control valves (FCV), with clear guidance on the different types of FCVs, how they work and their safe use.

Safe operational culture

WJA Ruling Council member Jeff Haigh, the association’s auditing and service quality lead, has played a leading role in incorporating all the changes to the document, extending it in the process, from 79 to 109 pages.

He said: “Drainage and wastewater contractors have the opportunity to use the WJA Red Code as a firm foundation upon which to build a demonstrably safe and effective operational culture for its water jetting practices that will impress their workforce, clients and regulatory bodies alike.”

The Red Code also underpins the WJA’s City & Guilds accredited training courses so learned water jetting practices are aligned with the highest possible standards.

Course sizes increased

The courses include a drain and sewer practical module. This module was also reviewed in 2022, and a new interactive digital clickpad Q&A system introduced, as an alternative to the end-of-course questionnaire for assessing learning outcomes.

In another move, the  WJA has also increased the number of delegates it permits to attend all its City & Guilds accredited training courses.

It is now allowing WJA approved instructors to train up to 12 delegates at a time, as long as risk assessments for safety and training quality have been carried out.

Previously, 12 delegates could attend safety awareness and pressure washing courses, eight could attend surface preparation, drain and sewer, and tube and pipe practical modules, and six could attend the hydrodemolition module.

This article can also be found in the issue below.


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