POSH Procedures – Jetting Safely

As leaders in the hydrodemolition industry we have developed our own safety procedures following the Water Jetting Association code of practice. Our POSH procedures are a reminder to our operators of their duties on every site and will ensure that every single job we carry out is setup in the optimum way to ensure minimum risk. The acronym POSH stands for, Position of the jetting unit, Operation of the jetting unit, Seeing the jetting enclosure and Hearing the jetting operation. Keeping in mind these four key responsibilities means that our operators are perfectly prepared to deal with any potential emergency.

P – Position of the jetting unit – The location of the jetting unit is important in order to fulfil all of the requirements of the POSH procedures. The safety standby operator will often base themselves at the jetting unit whilst carrying out their safety standby duties. In this instance it is imperative that the unit is located in a suitable position from which the safety standby is able to hear the jetting operation clearly and have a clear view of the jetting enclosure. On some sites this is not possible and this is when a remote stop is utilised to allow the safety standby to carry out their duties from a suitable location away from the jetting unit.

O – Operation of the jetting unit – This includes completion of daily check sheets, positioning the remote stop, bleeding the unit, starting and stopping the unit and regular checks of the unit and gauges whilst the pump is running. These procedures are a vital part of the daily setup and maintenance of the jetting unit ensuring the pump is safe to use and working correctly throughout the day.

S – See the jetting enclosure – One of the most important roles of the safety standby operator is to visually monitor the jetting enclosure and any exclusion zones. This is for two crucial reasons. Firstly, the safety standby must ensure that no unauthorised site staff or other third parties enter the exclusion zone or the jetting enclosure. Should somebody be allowed to approach the jetting operator whilst he is working there could be grave consequences. Secondly, the safety standby must also ensure that the protective sheeting is fully in tact at all times. Should there be any damage to the sheeting the operation must be halted immediately to allow repairs to be made. If jetting is carried out without 100% encapsulation then high velocity flying debris could escape and has the potential to cause serious damage to anybody in the vicinity of the works.

H – Hear the jetting operation – As the majority of water jetting operations are carried out within an enclosure to contain the flying debris it is often impossible to have a clear line of site between the safety standby and the jetting operator. The safety standby must therefore be able to hear the operation in the case of an emergency. When the gun operator is removing concrete the noise from the operation is around 90db. The further the cutting nozzle is away from the surface the louder the noise as the water travels through the air at high velocity. In the event of an emergency situation, such as the gun sticking whilst at full pressure, the gun operator will direct the gun away from the concrete into the air to create a long jet of water and increase the noise level to around 120db. If this occurs the safety standby must shut down the pump immediately.

All of our operators are trained on these POSH Procedures and the Team Leader for each project must show how the team is complying with the procedures as part of their task sheet. This enables anybody on site to check that the team is working in a safe manner.

These procedures are just a small part of all of the safety processes put in place to ensure our operation is safe for the operators and all site staff. Please feel free to contact us for information on these or any other safety procedures you may be interested in.

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