Before you even think about installing safety showers and eyewash stations, you may have a whole lot of questions about them, and this article is where all the answers can be found.
Why Are Safety Showers and Eyewash Stations Needed?
Safety showers, also known as emergency showers and eyewash stations, are vital to helping prevent permanent injury after exposure to harmful chemicals. This happens because the first 10-15 seconds after exposure to a hazard, especially a corrosive substance, are critical. If treatment is even slightly delayed, it can cause permanent injuries.
Do You Need a Separate or Combined Shower & Eyewash Unit?
This is an important choice to make, as it can be the difference between effective safety procedures or a fine.
The combined eyewash and safety shower has the ability to wash any part of the body or the whole body. This is the most protective device and should be used whenever possible. A combination unit is useful in situations where there is difficulty handling a worker who may not be able to follow instructions due to severe pain or shock from an injury.
If you aren’t sure which unit you need, you can call the experts at Spill Station to conduct an audit of your facilities, so you get it right. Once you know what you need, they have the best safety eyewash showers already in their product offerings, for you to choose from.
What Does the Australian Law Say?
When it comes to the law, all safety and eyewash stations have to comply with the Australian Standard AS4775.
Some of the key specifications are as follows:
- The safety shower must use tepid water.
- The shower/eyewash station must be 10 seconds away from the hazard and you must be able to travel to it unobstructed.
- The safety station must be well-lit for ease of location.
- The eyewash design must allow for eyelids to be held open while eyes are in the stream of flushing liquid.
- Equipment must be tested weekly and inspected and tagged for compliance once a year.
- The flow rate for emergency showers should be a minimum of 75.5 litres a minute for at least 15 minutes.
- The eyewash station in the combination unit should flow at 11.4 litres a minute for 15 minutes.
Spill Station’s indoor safety showers all come with this signage already included, to make it easier for you, and you can even choose them to help you remain compliant with their audits.
What is Tepid Water for Showers and Eyewashes?
Tepid water is water at a temperature between 16-38 degrees Celsius. This is chosen as temperatures higher than 38 degrees can be harmful to the eyes. In addition, long flushing times with water colder than 16 degrees can cause hypothermia, and result in further injury.
Where Should the Shower Be Located?
In order to remain effective, the safety equipment has to be immediately accessible. As seen in the standards above, 10 seconds is the best time frame to reach the shower. The affected worker may be in shock or have to be carried, so it’s best to make sure this path is unobstructed. This means no stairs, gates or steep inclines on the way.