An increase in the numbers of injuries throughout manufacturing and process industries using high-pressure cleaning equipment has prompted a national industry body to call for more awareness and training of Australian Standards.

The Australasian High Pressure Water Jetting Association (AUSJET) said many industrial operators of high-pressure cleaning equipment are not keeping up-to-date with the current Australian Standards which could potentially lead to injury or even death.

AUSJET Chairman, Peter Jones, said that over the last two years there have been an increase of injuries mainly due to a lack of awareness of how dangerous it can be using high pressure water jetting and cleaning equipment.

High pressure water can cut the skin leading to water being injected into the body and can cause unusual infections with micro aerophilic organisms. Urgent medical attention should be sought for anyone receiving a water injection injury no matter how minor.

“Despite no deaths in the industry since 2008, as the national industry association we are concerned with a spike in injuries across all industries and are calling on industry to not only be aware of the Australian Standards in safety but to implement accredited training for their employees,” Mr Jones said.

High pressure cleaning equipment is widely used throughout manufacturing, process industries, civil construction, mining and other sectors for the cleaning, descaling and removing coatings from equipment and applications such as drain cleaning and hydro excavation.

Mr Jones said AUSJET’s primary mission is safety within industry, however, industry also needs to be aware they are potentially leaving themselves open to claims for damages and charges of negligence simply by not understanding the current Australian and New Zealand Standards.

“With changes taking place around the country regarding industrial manslaughter offences, which in some states now attach a criminal responsibility of negligent conduct for the employer, industry need to be made aware of all their responsibilities when using high pressure water jetting and cleaning equipment across Australia,” Mr Jones said.

“It’s been extremely concerning to see the rise of water jetting injuries when the information is
available and there is now no excuse when people injure themselves at work and employers have the responsibility of keeping their employees up-to-date with the current Australian Standards.

Mr Jones said the Australasian High Pressure Water Jetting Association (AUSJET), incorporating the Australasian Drain Cleaning and Vacuum Association (ADCVA) have been instrumental is developing the current Australian Standards and can support industry in understanding and implementing safety and training across their business.

“Ultimately safety is paramount and our members who work in the industry are aware of their
responsibilities and have assisted the association in creating the current Australian Standards,” Mr Jones said.

“We believe it’s all about awareness, advocacy and involvement from industry. The association offers information on how to create a safe workplace for managers and their employees, as well as accredited training and training packages industry can access.”

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