Know your safety showers location to make the best of a bad situation
The first few seconds of being exposed to a corrosive material are critical. That’s why locations where corrosives are handled need to have an emergency eyewash and safety shower unit nearby. Maintaining these units is important.
Plumbed units should be flushed weekly to clear the line of sediment that could interfere with water flow. Bacteria can also begin to grow in the line if water is allowed to sit over time.
During the weekly flush, check for valve leakage, water volume, and flow pattern. The water pressure should be enough to create a uniform pattern from the shower head and the eyewash nozzles. However, the pressure should not be so high that the water flow creates a hazard to the eyes.
Self-contained units need to be serviced according to the manufacturer’s requirements. These are usually checked for physical damage, water level, and any indication that the water needs to be changed. The last date that the unit was checked should be indicated on a tag kept with the unit. Portable temporary units must have adequate pressure.
The area in front of a shower/eyewash needs to remain clear and free of obstructions. An individual needing the unit may already have his vision impaired.
Personal eyewash bottles can be used in remote areas where standard units are not available. They are intended for immediate flushing while the person is being brought to a standard unit. However, they are not a substitute for a standard eyewash unit when corrosives are handling.