Industrial worksites are complex and filled with variables that can change daily, presenting fluctuating serious risks for exposure to harmful chemicals, dusty conditions, and flammable materials. The importance of emergency eyewashes and shower devices in such settings cannot be underestimated. They can help prevent permanent eye and skin damage from chemical burns or foreign substances generated by various operations.
To select the appropriate emergency eyewash and shower equipment, start by identifying potential hazards in the workplace. Review the safety data sheets (SDSs) for hazardous substances to ensure the proper protection and safety plan is in place. The selection of plumbed equipment should be based on the type and level of potential exposure to people and how many individuals could be affected.
Immediate access to an emergency eyewash or shower within the first few seconds of eye or skin exposure is crucial. Eyewash or drench showers must be located within 10 seconds of the hazard, as per ANSI/ISEA Z358.1–2014 American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment.
The latest generation of emergency fixtures is designed to deliver a more uniform and complete spray pattern distribution. Using the latest technology in fluid dynamics, these designs work with a pressure-regulated flow control and the spinning motion of water to create an optimal spray pattern.
It’s important to provide reliable on-demand tepid water for flushing fluid, which helps encourage a full 15-minute flush of the injured area. Both thermostatic mixing valves and electric tankless water heaters can deliver tepid water reliably and efficiently.
Consider using an emergency signaling system, which helps to quickly alert and mobilize emergency response teams to affected personnel who are using emergency safety showers and eye and eye/face wash fixtures.
Remember, emergency equipment manufacturers offer free job site evaluations to help with the placement of fixtures, ANSI compliance, product selection, equipment maintenance, and testing, and employee training. It’s a good idea to get an outside expert’s perspective to help you stay on top of inevitable worksite changes that may impact the proper usage and effectiveness of your emergency equipment.