Safety shower and eyewash stations are facilities in place to help ensure the health and safety of your employees, providing on-the-spot first aid treatment after the contact with hazardous chemicals or debris
It is the Australian standard that all facilities that work with dangerous materials should conduct a thorough risk assessment and enforce appropriate control measures such as elimination and isolation controls, and provide fit-for-purpose personal protective equipment and suitable safety and eye wash stations
When Are Safety Showers and Eyewashes Used?
Safety showers are used to flush the skin of chemicals and other contaminants and minimise the effects of accidental contact as well as for burn treatment. Usually, the area should be flushed for 15 minutes
Eyewashes are used to flush the eye area to treat injuries caused by rubbing, itching or splashing the eyes while dealing with toxic or corrosive chemicals, or exposure to debris through PPE or equipment malfunctions.
It’s important to note that the pressure of safety showers or drench hoses is not suitable for the eyes, and purpose-built eye washing stations are required.
With all of this knowledge at hand, here is how you know if you need a safety station.
- Assess the risk
In workplaces where workers are exposed to harmful and dangerous chemicals, a thorough risk assessment should be undertaken to consider the types of injuries that may occur. From here, a hierarchy of control should be used to implement measures including elimination and isolation controls as well as PPE as a last line of defense.
- Decide where safety showers should be installed
In the workplace, many things should be kept in mind when deciding where these facilities are placed. According to Australian standards, these are the factors that should be kept in mind.
These facilities should be accessible immediately and on the same level as the hazard. A worker should not have to open cupboards, climb up a ladder or unlock something to get to the emergency equipment.Ideally, an injured worker should be able to reach the site in 10 seconds.
The overall visibility of a safety shower can impact the aforementioned 10-second rule. The standard allows all units to be very visible and be signed with warning placards. The entire area around the equipment should be properly illuminated, so a power cut or damage to the light fittings could render the whole area unsafe.
Nature of the site
This is the awareness of what chemicals are used, how many workers you have, what hazards are nearby. And other such factors that can impact safety and the use of the facilities.
- Educate Workers
All workers and staff should know exactly where the safety washing stations are located and how to operate them. Regular first aid training is important where hazards are present.
A Final Word
Don’t skimp on safety, protect your workers and understand where a shower or eyewash station will be required. If you need this service, Spill Station, Australia leading safety and PPE supplier in Australia and has been in operation for over three decades.