Eye injuries can be life-altering! As an employer, you must provide as much eye protection as you can to your workers. You can do this with the help of eye showers and eyewash stations, but many regulations govern their placement. These rules are outlined by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, while the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) also provides a useful reference in its Z358.1-2009 eyewash guidelines.
1. Place Eyewash Facilities Nearby
ANSI regulations state that injured workers should take no longer than 10 seconds to reach the nearest eyewash station or shower. Position eyewash stations as close as possible to hazard sites, leaving access unimpeded by equipment, stairs or other barriers. For laboratories and small-scale facilities, swing-activated eyewash stations can keep activation effortless, thus reducing the response time.
2. Clearly Identify Eyewash Stations
Eyewash stations must be clearly identified and visible within a potential hazard zone. If the location of the eyewash stations have been established early on, at least the injured persons could find their way toward the eyewash station by instinct. Also, co-workers can guide the injured persons toward the station.
3. Keep Your Eyewash Stations Maintained
An eyewash station that doesn’t work is as good as having no station at all. Keep eyewash supplies and replacement eyewash solutions near eyewash stations. Readily available supplies ease maintenance and enable you to deal with large-scale accidents where multiple workers are affected.
You owe it to your workers to provide them with prompt emergency care. Don’t skimp in saving their sight!