See Clearly: Why You Need Emergency Showers or Eyewash Stations, and Where to Put Them

eyewashstations

Exposure to a hazardous substance can cause serious health problems or worse. That is why emergency showers and eyewash stations are so important. They can quickly and easily remove contaminants from an affected worker.

If you don’t already have an emergency shower or eyewash station and you’re not sure where they should be located in your facility, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has some suggestions.

Emergency showers or eyewash stations should:

  • Be located as close to the hazard as possible.
  • Not be separated by a partition from the hazardous area
  • Be on an unobstructed path between the workstation and the hazard
  • Be located where workers can easily see them (in a normal traffic pattern)
  • Be on the same floor as the hazard and located near an emergency exit
  • Be located in an area where further contamination will not occur
  • Provide a drainage system for the excess water
  • Not come into contact with any electrical equipment that may become a hazard when wet
  • Be protected from freezing when installing emergency equipment outdoors

Don’t forget to also train workers how to use emergency showers and eyewash stations before an emergency occurs.

Do you already have emergency showers or eyewash stations in your facility? How do ensure that workers know where they are and how to use them?

Save Our Sight: Tips for Mounting Eyewash Stations

Mount eyewash stations properly to quickly address eye injuries!

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.

That in mind, we’ve summarized for you eyewash station installation tips from Safety + Health to keep your company safe and compliant in the easiest possible way.

 1. Place Eyewash Facilities Nearby

Swing Activated Laboratory Eyewash

Having the eyewash station right beside the work area allows for immediate attention.

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

Safety Alert Signs - Eye Wash Station Keep Area Clear

Show exactly where eyewash stations are.

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

Eyewash Stations

Even the simplest eyewash stations need regular checking and restocking.

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!