High-pressured equipment can be dangerous unless operators are well trained and fully understand the potential consequences of minor/major worksite oversights. Understanding efficient safe sewer cleaning can go a long way in ensuring operators are safe and city sewers are clean.
Tip #1: Set the Scene
Before beginning work, it’s important operators survey the worksite for any potential hazards that could compromise your team’s safety. Potential sewer cleaning safety risks could be standing water, conductive objects, gas leaks and electrical wiring in the drain line. Be sure to set safety cones in front of and behind the work zone to alert nearby traffic or pedestrians of the worksite.
Tip #2: Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
During worksite operations, operators can face both potential injuries AND exposure to sewage or human waste, posing significant health risks. When on the job, it’s important operators protect their hands, feet, eyes and head with the appropriate gear to protect themselves from a swinging boom or a falling object.
Tip #3: Know your Boom
Not all sewer cleaners are alike, and depending on the manufacturer, there are differences in how they deploy and extend their boom. Its vital operators understand these differences before getting behind the controls of the boom. Moreover, DO NOT move your sewer cleaner unless the boom is in the proper travel mode.
Tip #4: Choose the Right Nozzle
Choosing the right nozzle for the job is crucial. If the nozzle-to-hose connection isn’t properly sized, it can lead to a dangerous, high-pressure “ricochet”, where the nozzle and hose can suddenly turn around and shoot back at the operator.
As a general guideline, it’s advisable to keep the distance from the tip of the nozzle to where the hose connects approximately one-and-a-half times the size of the pipe diameter you are cleaning. Applying this sizing approach can serve as a preventive measure against the nozzle reversing direction and coming at you.
Tip #5: Conduct Trainings
Most municipal operators and contractors find it challenging to stay current with the industry’s best practices. Neglecting this aspect can result in improper operation, costly errors and even safety hazards.
If you’re looking to increase your safety and productivity, scheduling ongoing training can effectively address serious issues and turn weaknesses into strengths. At Owen Equipment, we offer specialized Elgin and Vactor Operator and Maintenance trainings, providing an opportunity for your operators to enhance their skills and knowledge.
When it comes to proper sewage cleaning, the five tips mentioned above only scratch the surface of industry best practices. Implementing effective sewage cleaning practices helps ensure the long-term safety and productivity of your crew.
For more information on Training and Sewer Cleaning best practices be sure to check out our Elgin and Vactor Operator and Maintenance Trainings! They provide you with everything you need to keep your fleet of operators safe and informed. Give us a call and we’ll connect you with an expert who can answer any questions you may have!