In the laboratory these accidents often involve chemicals as containers are dropped, bumped into, knocked over or otherwise mishandled. When these chemical accidents involve contact with clothes, skin or eyes it is essential that you have already properly located your safety showers and eye washes. When an accident happens it is too late.
The Standard for Safety Showers and Eye Washes
The most widely recognized reference for the proper location, operation and testing of both safety showers and eye washes is The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) Z358.1.
This standard gives specific direction on equipment performance, operation requirements, installation and testing. For more information you may also want to check with your industrial hygienist or safety officer.
So what is a safety shower and how is it different from an eye wash?
A safety shower is a device that enables a user to have water cascading over the entire body at one time.
An eye wash is a unit that is used to irrigate and flush the eyes and does not cover the entire body.
A hand held drench hose is a combination of both and consists of a flexible hose connected to a water supply and used to flush the eyes, face and body areas although not all at one time.