Power Washing is one of the most dangerous activities a person can do. Don’t believe me? Just check out the base premium rates according to job classifications with WorkSafeBC for WBC insurance. Power Washing is the 2nd highest base premium rate in BC. Its rate is barely lower than window/gutter cleaning (a service we also offer). That makes power washing, generally, the second most dangerous activity in the province.
Here is a partial list of activities or conditions associated with power washing that make it so dangerous:
- ladders – working with ladders is very dangerous. In fact, most accidents when working with heights such as a roof, happen when getting on or off a ladder.
- high pressure – pressure washers use very high pressure for some forms of cleaning. This high pressure can cause serious damage such as getting sprayed in the eye, or having debris blow directly into your eyes.
- chemical exposure – some chemicals used with pressure washing can be quite dangerous. Even biodegradable, natural chemicals can be hazardous in enclosed spaces.
- mechanical equipment – equipment for pressure washing is quite dangerous. Machines have engines using belts. The noise from this equipment can cause hearing damage apart from the obvious risk of bodily harm.
- bodily injury – power washing requires working in less than ideal conditions. Constantly wet and potentially slippery, working in awkward positions, holding triggers for extended periods of times, lifting heavy objects all create conditions at risk to musculoskeletal injury.
You can mitigate several of these risks with careful safety procedures and planning. Without re-writing our entire policies and procedures documentation in this blog here are a few key tips:
- Wear PPE – PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as goggles or glasses, ear plugs, rain gear, gloves, properly designated masks and work boots should always be worn especially if working with any chemical other than water.
- Secure ladders- Ladders should be positioned on level solid ground and at a 75 degree angle or 4 feet vertical for every 1 foot horizontal. Use a ladder guard and look out for electrical lines and other hazards. For a good list of ladder safety tips read here.
- Avoid spectators – Don’t let passersby come within your work area. Use tape and signage to delineate the area. In some cases you may want a helper maintaining access particularly when working in entry and exit access areas.
This is just a small subset of rules and regulations we follow at Sedona Power Washing. The best way to insure proper safety for your cleaning project is to hire professionals with solid reputations, WBC and liability insurance. Doing it yourself or hiring someone that doesn’t follow the correct protocols is extremely risky. Call us for a free consultation or if you simply have questions specific to safety. We are very happy to help advise you!