The WaterJet Technology Association recently released the fourth edition of its manual for safely using industrial vacuum equipment.
The new manual, Recommended Practices for the Use of Industrial Vacuum Equipment, features updates and a redesigned full-color layout. It is available in full- and pocket-sized formats.
Revisions include several noteworthy changes. The new manual recommends that operators carry a medical-alert card in case of vacuum-suction incidents. In the event of an injury, the suggested wording on the card offers information to health care providers on the potential nature of the injury and treatment considerations.
Vacuum tanks meet the OSHA definition of a confined space, necessitating specific entry procedures. The manual includes a new example of confined-space entry procedures. The revised manual also added recommended hand signals for starting and shutting down a vacuum unit.
Additional updates include revisions to best practices for loading and off-loading flammable and combustible liquids, a brief treatment of automated and robotic vacuum tools, and several new definitions added to the glossary.
WJTA’s recommended practices form the basis of its vacuum-operator training and certification program and are referenced extensively by contractors, manufacturers, asset owners, regulators, researchers, consultants, and others.
WJTA recently introduced the medical-alert card for operators of industrial vacuum equipment. The card uses wording developed by Tommy Hysler, chief medical officer of the Health and Safety Council. Industrial vacuum equipment produces powerful suction, presenting a potentially serious hazard to operators. If a body part comes in contact with a vacuum hose end under suction, the resulting injury can be severe, with internal damage and dangerous pooling of fluid in the extremities. The card provides information on the possible nature and treatment of such a vacuum incident.