Industry News

WJTA Releases New Recommended Practices for the Use of Industrial Vacuum Equipment

The WaterJet Technology Association (WJTA) has released the new fourth edition of the Recommended Practices for the Use of Industrial Vacuum Equipment. Featuring updates and a redesigned, full-color layout, the new manual is available in both full-sized and pocket-sized formats. Revisions include several noteworthy changes.

It is recommended that a medical alert card for vacuum suction incidents be carried by operators. In the event of an injury, the suggested wording on the card would offer information to healthcare providers on the potential nature of the injury and treatment considerations.

The vacuum tanks meet the OSHA definition of a confined space, necessitating specific entry procedures. A new example of confined space entry procedures is included to provide additional information.

The revised manual has added recommended hand signals for starting and shutting down the vacuum unit, similar to the hand signals recommended for waterjetting operators in the WJTA’s Industry Best Practices for the Use of High Pressure Waterjetting Equipment.

Additional updates include revisions to the best practice methods for loading and off-loading flammable and combustible liquids, a brief treatment of automated/robotic vacuum tools, and several new definitions added to the glossary.

The WJTA’s Vacuum Recommended Practices form the basis of the association's forthcoming vacuum operator training and certification program and are referenced extensively by contractors, manufacturers, asset owners, regulators, researchers, consultants and more.

WJTA recently introduced a medical alert card for operators of industrial vacuum equipment based on wording developed by Tommy Hysler, MD, MPH, chief medical officer of the Health and Safety Council (HASC). Industrial vacuum equipment can produce powerful suction presenting a potentially serious hazard to operators. If a body part comes in contact with the vacuum hose end under suction, the resulting injury can be severe with internal damage and dangerous pooling of fluid in the extremities. The new card provides information on the possible nature and treatment of such a vacuum incident.

The manuals and medical alert cards are available through the Online Store on the WJTA website or bycontacting the WJTA office – email:, telephone: (314)241-1445.