Water blasting has become a very popular means of surface cleaning, due to its efficiency. However, water jetting or blasting with professional-grade equipment can be extremely dangerous and should be treated with greater attention to safety than you would when using a consumer-grade pressure washer to clean dirt off a porch or patio.
Commercial equipment easily doubles the pressure power of consumer equipment, with pressures averaging between 5,000-15,000 PSI (350-1000 bar). The danger is even more severe when using Ultra-High Pressure (UHP) Water blasting equipment, which boasts a pressure range that starts at 29,000 PSI (2,000 bar).
Here are some things to keep in mind when blasting with high pressure water:
Check Pressure Ratings – you need to be absolutely positive that your hose, fittings, and lance can handle the output pressure of the pump. You’ll be able to find the respective pressure ratings printed on the hose and lance. Make sure the printed ratings on each piece is greater than or equal to the pressure rating of the pump you’re using.
Throw Away Compromised Hoses or Lances – if your hose or lance has been compromised in any way, it increases the chances of a harmful accident occurring while blasting. Inspect your hose and lance thoroughly each time before using. If the hose gets crimped or develops noticeable nicks or pits, it should be removed, cut in half and thrown away. ANY bend in the barrel rod of the lance—no matter how small—means the integrity of the inner walls of the lance has been compromised, and the lance must be replaced.
Treat Water Injections Like a Snake Bite – you may not think that an accidental injection from water would be cause for such concern—after all, it’s just water—but it should be treated like a serious injury. Even though the injection may be small with no apparent bleeding, you have essentially introduced micro-organisms directly into your bloodstream. Proper procedure is similar to the treatment of a paint gun injection or snake bite:
- Apply a pressure bandage
- Immediately seek medical attention
- Notify the medical professional that you have been injected with high pressure water