Emergency safety showers and eye/face wash units provide the first line of defence in the event of a chemical splash or spillage. Any delay in treating a casualty can result in more serious injury with long-term consequences. Choosing the right emergency safety shower is essential and there are many fundamental points to consider.
The internationally recognised American National Standard, ANSl/ISEA z358.1-2014 provides uniform minimum requírements for the performance, use, installation, testing. maintenance and training of emergency safety shower and eyewash equípment.
The following summary presents the main points for consideration to assist health and safety specifiers in understanding the ANSl/ISEA z358.1 -201 4 standard.
. Water delívered by the emergency safety equipment
should be tepid, between 16-38°C (60-100°F).
At temperatures above 38°c (100°F) there is the added danger of scalding and increased absoption of harmful chemicals into the skin. Prolonged exposure to water below 16°c (60°F) increases the risk of thermá shock or hypothermia and prevents the casualty using the shower to decontaminate effectively for the full 15 minutes.
. Emergency safety equipment should be installed within 1o seconds reach and on the same level as a potential hazard,
. Emergency safety showers should deliver a minimum of 76 litres (20 us gallons) per minute of potable water for up to 15 minutes in the required spray pattern.
Eye/face wash units should deliver 1 1 .4 lrtres (3 us gallons) per minute for up to 15 minutes to ensure a thorough decontamination
. Both emergency safety showers and eyewashes must be designed so that the vavles remain open without the use of the operator’s hands until intentionally closed.
The control valve must be simple to operate and go from ‘off’ to ‘on’ in 1 second or less,
. Emergency safety equipment must be visually inspected and activated weekly along with an annual ewice to guarantee reliable and effectíve operation and conformance with the standard.
. Personnel who may be exposed to hazardous materials should be ínstructed on the safe and proper use of the emergency safety equipment and be advised of its location