By Jimmy Peck, General Manager, MPW Industrial Services
This industry is more than a commodity to the WJTA. This is one of the most important lessons I learned last year as I completed my first year on the WJTA Board of Directors. It’s one of the many concepts that mirror MPW’s culture. I am enthusiastic about engaging with the WJTA because the time I dedicate to this group improves the waterjetting industry, which in turn benefits MPW.
With that in mind, I have identified four major benefits realized from my involvement with the WJTA.
1. Noble Causes
The WJTA is a not-for-profit organization, which is focused on the advancement of the entire industry. The best way to achieve this is by continuing to improve situational and operational safety through improved training, education, communication and utilization of technology. The general public’s perception of the industrial sector is important to the WJTA as well as to each of the organizations that employ us. Consequently, the industrial sector can only be as effective as its weakest component.
2. Education and Training According to its formal objectives, the WJTA provides instruction in the following ways:
- Promotions and demonstrations for the general public or private organizations;
- Dissemination of information on fluid jet technology through newsletters, booklets, clinics, meetings, lectures and educational programs;
- Creation and presentation of awards;
- And engagement in any other activities not enumerated herein that are designed to further the art and science of fluid jet technology and to promote its use.
The WJTA’s training and education is not just for members. The information our organization provides is valuable for industrial customers, contractors and suppliers, as well as the general public. It is absolutely imperative that asset owners demand more from contractors, thereby forcing weak players to improve or be eliminated.
WJTA organizes formal educational programs, such as the Waterjet Technology Basics & Beyond Short Course every two years at the WJTA Conference, and also offers custom learning seminars to help asset owners or contractors rapidly improve organizational knowledge.
Employee turnover and maintaining adequate safety culture are a challenge for many contractors. WJTA has worked to address workforce development issues by formalizing a training and certification program including both a remote computer-based and instructor-led hands-on program. A full roll-out of the hydroblast operator program is scheduled for the 2019 WJTA Conference & Expo.
To derive the most value from a WJTA membership, it’s necessary to engage at the board, committee or member level. Committees include Awards, Global Standards, Membership, Paper Review, High Pressure Safety, Vacuum Safety and multiple WJTA Conference & Expo Organizing Committees/Subcommittees. The WJTA draws from three main groups for the bulk of its membership: asset owners (industrial corporations), contractors (service providers) and suppliers (equipment vendors and employment agencies). [Strategically, the WJTA endeavors to increase membership and participation by recruiting more members from the asset-owners category, which organically draws more contractors and suppliers.] From networking with WJTA members, MPW has established and enhanced relationships from current and prospective clients, exchanged valuable safety and nonproprietary industry information with peer contractors and gained invaluable information from equipment suppliers.
4. Resources and Events
In 2018, I was privileged to be a part of the WJTA group that revised and updated the Recommended Practices for the Use of Industrial Vacuum Equipment, commonly referred to as the Blue Book. Among other updates, we introduced pneumatic excavation standards. With the current growth of air-powered excavation, it’s gratifying to see the industry embracing these best practices.
MPW regularly purchases the Blue Book, as well as the Industry Best Practices for the Use of High Pressure Waterjetting Equipment (Orange Book) and WJTA videos for training purposes. Additionally, we’re a regular contributor in Jet News, which is the WJTA’s newsletter that’s published six times annually.
The WJTA’s Conference & Expo is a tremendous event and one of the most business-relevant trade shows MPW attends. Last year, we met prominent people in the industry and gained vital insights on equipment, safety and best practices. And there is no better city in which to do it than New Orleans.
If you have interest, ideas or questions about any of these benefits, please feel free to contact me at JPeck@ mpwservices.com.