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High-Pressure Water-Cleaning Procedure


The purpose of this procedure is to provide the necessary practices for safe operation of high-pressure water cleaning (HPWC) equipment. This procedure will apply to any person who may operate said equipment.

Qualifications and Training

All new employees will receive classroom and hands-on training. No one is permitted to operate HPWC equipment without being trained.

Observed unsafe behavior will require retraining.

Training shall include:

  • Instruction on water pressure variances between equipment such as 10,000 psi, 20,000 psi and 40,000 psi equipment.
  • Required personal protective equipment.
  • Minimum safe distance from an operating tip.
  • Hose assembly and connections.
  • Hazards that may be created such as noise, reduced visibility, water injection, electrical shock and tripping hazards.
  • Injury reporting.
  • Demonstration of proficiency by means of hands on operation of equipment.

Pre-Start Operational Procedure

Prior to beginning work, all equipment must be inspected to ensure that it is in safe working condition. Inspection shall include verifying the integrity of hoses and connections, tips, lances, foot pedals. The Hazard Assessment form must be documented to reflect this inspection.

Personal protective equipment must include at a minimum;

  • Hardhat.
  • Full face shield
  • Safety Glasses
  • Ear plugs
  • Rain suit
  • Rubber or waterproof gloves
  • Metatarsal protective boots

The area must be posted with barricade or warning tape to prevent unauthorized entry.

The host employer must be informed of the potential hazards associated with HPWC, which include injury or property damage associated with high pressure water, shock hazards, slip and fall hazards, hazardous noise, and the possible release of chemicals. Permits issued by the host employer may be required. The job supervisor must ensure permits are completed if necessary.

The job supervisor must request MSDS's for review if entering a confined space. This rule applies when cleaning a confined space even if the space is not going to be entered. All potential chemical hazards must be evaluated and communicated to anyone who may have potential to be exposed to the chemical(s).

All confined space atmospheres must be tested prior to beginning work.

A means of communication must be established within the crew involved in the operation. Communication is vital to ensure safety or the reporting of an unsafe condition. If entering a confined space, visual contact must be maintained.

Every precaution must be made to ensure electrical outlets, circuits or equipment are isolated or protected from incidental water splashing.

The job supervisor must establish a means of egress and assembly point in the event of an unforeseen emergency. Host employers may have pre-established evacuation routes and assembly points. All personnel must know these routes and areas prior to beginning work.

Trip hazards created by hoses or other items must be clearly identified and barricaded if possible.

The High Pressure Water Blasting Checklist must be completed prior to beginning work.

Post Start Operational Procedures

At no time should any one enter the area down stream of the operational blasting nozzle. The minimum safe distance is a 25 foot radius within the front 180 degree area of the operator. Every precaution must be in place to barricade this area.

The dead man or dump pedal must be under the direct control of the operator.

Operational cleaning equipment must never be unmanned or unattended.

All hoses must be equipped with whip checks. Hoses identified a unsafe must be immediately removed from service.

Periodic surveys of the work area must be performed to ensure proper water drainage and that hazards caused by water drainage are controlled.

Job Completion Operational Procedures

It is the responsibility of all personnel involved to ensure that all equipment is removed from the area. Personnel must ensure that water and debris are cleaned up and removed from the work area to ensure a clean and safe environment.

The area must be surveyed to ensure that no hazards have been created during the operation. Identified hazards must be corrected immediately.

The Host Employer must be notified at the conclusion of the job. The Lead or Supervisor must invite the Host Employer Representative to inspect the area to ensure safety and satisfaction.

Anti-freeze or windshield washer fluid must be added to the blaster if weather conditions indicate potentially freezing temperatures.

Where applicable, the waste oil bucket must be drained and secured.

All equipment must be inspected for damage after the job to ensure safe working condition for the next person. Damage must be reported immediately and repaired prior to returning to service.