Safety Guide 101 – Industrial Pressure Washers
When it comes to cleaning the toughest mud and grime, there’s only one way to go: pressure washing. At Hotsy Water Blast, we custom manufacture pressure washers for your specific industry needs across Vancouver, Red Deer, Calgary and Edmonton. These machines are effective, but can be dangerous if not used properly. Let our experts show you the proper way to operate your pressure washer safely.
- Pre-Use Inspection
Inspect nuts or nicks in the cable, signs of loose connections like the outer insulation pulling back from plug connections exposing the coloured conductors, loose, broken or missing covers, proper operation of all safety mechanisms, and check for leaks on fitting, hoses or castings. Remove equipment from service if defects are found.
- Proper Operation
- Do not start the machine until all quick connect hoses have been checked to confirm that they are in a locked position.
- Pressure washers produce a kickback. Maintain firm footing and grip to avoid injury.
- Never leave the system unattended while energized.
- Lockout pump (de-energize) when a nozzle, lance or hose is replaced, adjusted or inspected.
- Become familiar with the operating controls. Know how to stop the equipment and to bleed the pressure quickly.
- Do not crimp or tie off hoses against sharp objects.
- Modifications to trigger device (or tying down) are not permitted.
- Ensure that any electrical equipment in the immediate area of the pressure washer is de-energized.
- If using a chemical injector, read and follow the chemical supplier’s MSDS for additional protective clothing and safety equipment requirements, including the requirements for respiratory protection.
- To avoid damage and flying particle risks, do not start with the spray too close to the surface to be cleaned.
- Steam Pressure Washers
- If using a steam pressure washer, avoid contact with non-insulated areas to prevent risk of serious burns.
- If steaming indoors or in the cold air ensure there is adequate ventilation to sustain visibility.
Pressure Washer Hazards
Pressure washers are used throughout the industrial sector to clean heavy machinery quickly and efficiently.
If not used properly, your pressure washer is liable to cause serious injuries including musculoskeletal damage from the force of its kickback and even lacerations on the skin if you accidentally hit yourself on exposed skin. Safety should be a number one priority when using your pressure washer. Here are some potential hazards of using a high-pressure washer:
- Chemical exposure:
Since the very purpose of a pressure washer is to remove potentially dangerous chemicals from industrial equipment, it’s important to wear the proper protection. Some of these chemical remnants could splash back, thus risking exposure.
The waterjets on your pressure washer are incredibly powerful. Water comes out travelling 3,300 kilometers per hour. This is fast enough to slice through many different solids, your own body being the particular concern in this case. It’s important that, as a business owner, you only let those with the proper training operate these machines.
- Musculoskeletal injury:
Because of the high pressure of these machines, the recoil is significant. It’s important to be careful when working to make sure that you don’t strain your muscles. Your employees will be working in a variety of different environments where the workspace might be confined, wet or have some other type of risk, be sure you take the proper safety precautions as these conditions increase the chance of injuries.
Working with high pressure washers require full operation training, protective equipment and an understanding the hazards. Splash goggles, face protection, and hand protection are needed to ensure worker safety. It is the workers responsibility to refuse work that is unsafe.
At Hotsy Water Blast, we custom manufacture pressure washers and offer maintenance and repair services across 8 locations in Western Canada and 2 locations in North Dakota. Call us today to find out more about our products and services. We can take care of all your pressure washing needs.