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Safety Awareness With a Pressure Washer Inspection Checklist

A pressure washer inspection is important to remain alert when using high-pressure washer and keep the appropriate security and safety measures in mind. By employing a checklist, it is easy to recall all the elements you need to keep in mind during the operation of a pressure washer.

What is a Pressure Washer Inspection Checklist?

A pressure washer inspection checklist is used to mitigate the risks that cause accidents and injuries when using a high-pressure washer. The checklist is one of the basic requirements for maintaining a safe working environment and it conveniently also serves as a guide to identifying potential hazards associated with pressure washers and developing a response method when encountering threats and risks.

By using a checklist to examine high pressure washers for either inspection or maintenance purposes, you can easily plan which safety measures are necessary to make your workplace secure. Furthermore, a pressure washer safety checklist also helps you to establish which kind of personal protective equipment may be needed to keep your employees safe at all times.

Most of all, the checklist will indicate whether you are compliant with the OSHA requirements requirements for high-pressure washers.
If you want to comply with OSHA Class 3 requirements, for example, the pressure washer should be fitted with a 24-inch hose guard and a 48-inch lance.

In this article, you will learn:

1. Which Types Of Pressure Washers And Nozzles Exist

2. How To Stay Safe When Using A Pressure Washer

3. Why A Digital Checklist Is The Ideal Tool For Pressure Washer Inspections

Pressure Washer Car Cleaning

Different Types of Pressure Washer and Nozzle Types

A pressure washer inspection checklist will vary depending on the type of equipment you are using. As a first step, it is therefore important to know what kind of washer you are using so you can create a safety and maintenance checklist that addresses the standard requirements set by the OSHA.

High-pressure washers can be categorized either by type or by pressure levels. Their type is generally divided into the categories of electric and gas models:

  • An electricity-powered washer is lighter in weight, quieter, and cheaper. These characteristics make it ideal for indoor use or for use in confined spaces, as the machine is smaller and therefore convenient to move around.
  • A gas-fueled washer, on the other hand, is more powerful than its electric counterpart. There also exist a wider range of models and gas-fueled washers are generally more efficient in large spaces as they have no power cords that can obstruct working spaces. They are high-maintenance, however, and also produce gas emissions.

Aside from the type, pressure washers are also categorized based on their pressure levels — light, medium, and heavy pressure.

  1. Light-Duty Pressure Washers
    They have a pressure level of 2000 psi and are used for cleaning small spaces like driveways and patios. They are also ideal for cleaning small items occasionally.
  2. Medium-Duty Pressure Washers
    Their pressure level ranges between 2000 and 2800 psi. They are usually used for cleaning house sidings, fences, driveways, and other small cleaning jobs at home.
  3. Heavy-Duty Pressure Washers
    They can have a pressure level that ranges between 2900 and 3300 psi. They are used for cleaning large concrete areas and second-level applications.

Aside from the type of washer, being aware of the nozzle type of your high-pressure washer is essential for proper maintenance. The nozzle type is categorized by the water patterns that come out of the nozzle.

  • A red nozzle is used for cleaning heavy stains on concrete and second-level siding. Because of their high-pressure level, using them at closer distances can cause serious injuries.
  • The yellow nozzle is used for heavy-duty cleaning like stripping greases and paints from different surfaces. It can also be used for removing grime and dirt from garage floors and outdoor walks.
  • The green nozzle is used for general cleaning and is safer to use because it is not as highly pressurized as the red and green nozzles.
  • The white nozzle is used for cleaning surfaces that can be easily damaged. This is the type of washer used for cleaning cars and stucco walls.
  • The black nozzle has the gentlest pressure and is normally used for general cleaning purposes.

Pressure Washer Safety Goggles

7 Safety Tips For Using a Pressure Washer

Safety comes from knowing the equipment or machine you are using — what type it is, how to maintain it, and what are the risks and hazards you are exposed to when using it. Here are the most basic safety tips for working with and around pressure washers:

  1. Do not point the pressure washer towards your body.
    Highly-pressurized water can cause severe injury if aimed directly at your body. Make sure that your finger is positioned away from the nozzle and aim directly at the surface you are cleaning. Never use it to clean glass windows as the pressure can break them.
  2. Read the manufacturer’s manual
    Each washer model has its own specifications which include the pressure and temperature requirement of the water from the washer. It will save you a lot of hassle and headache when you read the manual.
  3. Conduct a test run before cleaning
    Before you use the pressure washer, do a test run using the widest angle nozzle. Ensure that the clearance is around 2 feet from the cleaning surface. Adjust the size of the nozzle to the most efficient and safest setting.
  4. Wear personal protective equipment
    A lot of injuries and accidents can occur when using the high-pressure washer. Some of those injuries happen because the person either lacks or forgets to wear protective gear. Here is the recommended protective clothing to wear when using the pressure washer:
    • Safety glasses
    • Gloves
    • Boots
    • Long pants
    • Earplugs

  5. Identify all possible hazards in your work area
    No matter how much you say that your work area is safe, you can never let your guard down. Always check your surroundings if there are any obstructions, approaching traffic, and other possible risk hazards.
  6. Don’t use a ladder when working from a height
    The pressurized water from the washer can knock you off balance when you aim it at a surface. So make sure you are stable before you start cleaning or you might suffer from a bad fall and injure yourself.
  7. Remove excess pressure before disassembling
    After using, turn off the pressure washer and squeeze the trigger to release excess pressure. Make sure that all the excess pressure has been released before dismantling the pressure washer.

A Powerful Tool for Pressure Washer Safety Inspections

Digital technology and digital checklists can help you avoid errors and safety risks in ways that paper-based checklists may be lacking. Lumiform is a powerful mobile app for any kind of inspection; the time-consuming process of filling out and evaluating paper lists is wholly eliminated with our digital checklists. We facilitate your inspection processes by making it easier to collect data on the go – online or offline –, share information directly with concerned parties and evaluate results immediately.

Try Lumiform for free

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