Eyewashes and showers

Trends in ... eyewashes and showers

Consistent testing is a must

According to NIOSH, “Industrial chemicals or cleaning products are common causes of chemical burns to one or both eyes.” That’s why having OSHA-compliant eyewashes and showers available onsite is so important.

Safety+Health spoke with Ryan Pfund, senior product manager, Bradley Corp., and Alexis Rose, industrial product manager, ThermOmegaTech Inc., about emergency eyewashes and showers. Here’s what they had to say:

S+H: What do you wish employers and workers better understood about emergency eyewashes and showers?

Pfund: Weekly testing of equipment is of paramount importance. Personnel and safety hazards constantly change, particularly with facilities reopening after being shut down during the pandemic.

Each week, equipment should be checked to ensure it:

  • Is placed in accordance with the ANSI/ISEA standard. For instance, fixtures must be located within 10 seconds or 55 feet from a potential hazard. They must also be located on the same level as the hazard with an unobstructed path of travel.
  • Works properly with no missing or broken parts.
  • Has lines flushed to clear debris and stagnant water.
  • Uses tepid fluid between 60-100° F.

Rose: How important it is to set a regular testing routine and stick to it to ensure every safety station in a facility is fully functional. An improperly supplied station (either with not enough water, or with water that is too hot or too cold) can quickly lead to exacerbated chemical reactions during emergencies.

S+H: What concerns or questions are customers coming to you with about eyewashes and showers, and what advice do you provide?

Pfund: The coronavirus pandemic brought contamination of equipment to the forefront of people’s minds. Some eyewash systems use a sturdy plastic or stainless steel, hinged dust cover that shields the entire bowl from contamination. The see-through plastic allows for quick and easy visual inspection and the hinging mechanism provides a secure hold. As the cover opens, the fixture is activated. 

Rose: Customers frequently inquire about how to implement freeze protection and scald protection valves on their existing emergency eyewash/safety shower setup to keep their employees safe and their stations working correctly. These self-operating valves safeguard against system failures and environmental changes resulting in extreme water temperatures (frozen piping in the winter and scalding water supplies in the summer).

Compiled with the assistance of the International Safety Equipment Association

Coming next month:

  • Eye/face protection

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