What are the things to know concerning safety showers?
Emergency showers and eyewash stations provide on-the-spot decontamination that flushes away the hazardous substances and lessens the chance of injury.
If corrosives are handled at a worksite such that a splash could be expected (e.g., open transfer of corrosives), water for flushing should be readily available.
Before starting a job with a potential splash hazard, be sure that you have addressed the following items.
- Know the location of the nearest safety shower/eye wash unit – the time to locate the unit is not when you need it.
- Make sure that it is not obstructed and can be reached quickly. Keep in mind that the person needing it may have partially or totally obstructed vision if they were splashed in the face.
- Check that the unit closest to the job that you are doing works properly. When checking a shower verify that the pressure is adequate, the flow pattern is even, the water is clear (standing water can accumulate sediment), and the valve locks in the open position when activated.
It’s important to know the hazards of any chemical substances that you use. But that knowledge isn’t any good if you don’t take steps to control the hazards and plan for an emergency. If there is a potential splash exposure, be sure to verify the location, accessibility, and operability of emergency flushing units that you or your co-workers may need to rely on.
Eye wash units also provide a means of first-aid to flush particles out of the eye. If your job creates dust or airborne particles, it’s equally important to check that emergency flushing units will work as intended.