Ensuring the safety of workers should be one of your primary concerns as an employer. Investing in safety showers ensures you are investing in the safety of your employees as well as providing yourself with peace of mind that you are compliant to international standards. It can, however, be a challenging task.
Knowing you need safety showers is half the battle, but it can be hard to know where to start when purchasing this safety equipment. To help in the process, we have put together a list of considerations prior to purchasing a safety shower and or eye/face wash equipment.
- Consult the standards
The European standard EN15154 Parts 2 and 5, and the internationally recognised ANSI Z358.1-2014 standard recommend performance requirements for industrial eye wash units and emergency safety showers. They are focused on the performance, use, installation, testing, maintenance, and training of this essential safety equipment and while not legally binding it is considered best practice to adhere to them in order to remain compliant.
We recommend consulting the standards in their entirety before purchasing a safety shower. For a general overview to assist in understanding the guidelines take a look at our summary documents.
- Consult the Safety Datasheet (SDS)
This will provide more detail on the decontamination procedure required for the chemicals in question in the event of an incident or contact with the skin. For example, if ammonia comes into contact with the skin it must be rinsed with water at a temperature of between 25-30C for at least 15 minutes.
Always ensure you read the full safety data sheet carefully and follow the recommendations within.
- Perform a risk assessment
Assessing risk is a large part of the overall process used to control hazards in your workplace. Site risk assessments will provide the information you need to understand the location, specification and quantity of equipment required. A proper risk assessment includes making sure that all relevant risks are taken into consideration (not just the immediate or obvious risks) and checking the efficiency of safety measures and equipment already in place. These assessments must be updated regularly.
- Check existing site standards for safety showers
Is there an existing site standard and/or specification for emergency safety showers and eye/face washes? There could be a company specific standard in place that must be adhered to.
- Which employees will be using the showers
Who will potentially be using the safety showers and eye/face washes and what are their function? Do employees wear PPE, gas-tight suits or industrial workwear? This will identify the type of models required. For example, our PPE decontamination showers protect both the individual and preserve the lifetime of costly personal protective equipment.
When considering the location of your safety showers and eye/face washes ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the ambient temperature of the location of the hazard?
- Do you have sufficient drainage to contain potentially contaminated water?
- Do you have a potable and reliable water supply with enough pressure at the site of the hazard?
- Is the shower being used in an explosive area?
- Have you considered electrical requirements such as ATEX and IECEx?
There are many fundamental points to think about when selecting the right safety showers and eye/face washes for your site. Ensure you make the right choice with our help. With half a century of expertise in this field we can guide you through the purchasing process. Contact the Hughes team to discuss your needs in detail.