WJA system backs water jetters carrying out Covid-19 essential services

The Water Jetting Association has put in place an essential services notification system to assist its members in confirming that they have the right to travel during the Covid-19 emergency.

A form can be carried by personnel who work for Water Jetting Association (WJA) members to show police and other authorities they are authorised to travel on behalf of designated essential services and businesses.

One WJA has reported that it has been visited by police checking the company’s essential service status and that officers had left satisfied after being shown the form.

The WJA is the UK’s member organisation for the water jetting industry. Its members include high pressure and ultra high pressure water jetting contractors, equipment manufacturers, equipment hirers and service users.

WJA Director David Kennedy said: “We have created this Covid-19 essential services notification form and validation system in response to concerns and needs of our members.

“They provide water jetting services for a range of essential services, most notably sewer cleaning services for the UK’s water companies, so they need to be able to travel freely, without hindrance, to carry out those duties.”

Under emergency government regulations, only people working for essential services and businesses can travel freely during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic while still observing required social distancing advice.

They include wastewater maintenance contractors, food retailers, storage and distribution facilities and vehicle repair companies.

Water jetting operatives involved in water utility sewer cleaning are also designed as key workers under the government’s Covid-19 emergency regulations.

David Kennedy said: “The form identifies the holder as supporting the delivery of essential services, as defined by the Government’s rules in its response to the Covid-19 crisis. It also provides method for the details of the form holder to be confirmed by contacting the WJA.

“This is an example of an important benefit of being a member of the WJA. Our members can draw on the authority of the association to support their service delivery and reassure others of their bona fides during emergencies as well as during normal working conditions.”

The WJA has taken legal advice to ensure its Covid-19 essential services form is drawn up correctly. The form gives the name of the WJA member and of the employee who is the form holder. Water jetting operatives must also show their WJA registration number.

For the forms to be valid, members must register the names of all operatives who will carry them with the WJA so it can confirm details if contacted as part of an essential service validation process.

David Kennedy said: “We are also reminding members that they must operate within government guides for the control of Covid-19 regarding site working.

“All work must be subject to a risk assessment in line with WJA Codes of Practice. There must be a clear focus on the impact of COVID-19 on the outcome of such a risk assessment.”