Emergency Eyewash and Emergency Shower Stations
Immediate response on exposure to hazardous substances to the eyes are body is critical, delaying treatment, by even a few seconds, can lead to serious injury.
Even with good engineering controls and safety precautions in place accidental chemical exposure can still occur.
Workplace environments and industries with an inherent risk of chemical or hazardous exposure, including factories, on mining and building sites; in the health, defence, energy and petrochemical industries; must mitigate accidents by ensuring there are appropriate plans and equipment in place to comply with Australian Standards Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment (AS 4775-2007), to minimise the effects of accidental exposure and ensure the safety of their employees.
The nature of accidents in these industries can often be sudden and critical, so appropriate response(s) need to be delivered fast, effectively, and in strict compliance with AS 4775-2007.
Emergency Safety showers and eyewash stations provide on-the-spot decontamination, allowing workers to flush away hazardous substances that can cause injury.
Plumbed emergency stations require scheduled servicing to ensure equipment is maintained, to reduce sediment and stagnant water issues. Contact Mackie Plumbing and Gas to discuss maintenance plans for emergency decontamination stations, as most emergency shower and eye wash station manufacturers recommend an annual overall servicing/ routine inspections which involves “activation or flushing” and “flow testing,” by registered plumbers.
Further to this MPG plumbers can ensure your emergency decontamination stations;
- Comply with code AS 4775-2007
- Are in the correct / accessible location to hazardous chemicals and workflow and in trafficable areas
- Not contaminated by workflow
- Provide correct drainage system for excess water, considering wash off may be considered hazardous waste, therefore correct wash down procedures may apply
- Correctly plumbed and provide the correct flow rate, temperature and water pressure
- Provide the correct quality of water
In the event of hazardous chemicals splashing in the eyes, the stream of water from the spray should be directed into the eye for a period of 15 minutes prior to seeking medical attention. Eye wash stations can be either portable or plumber, plumbed units must have a 30-psi water supply. Water flow for eye wash stations is provided simultaneously to both eyes at a low velocity to not injure the eyes. Plumbed and self-contained units must perform as follows:
- Eyewash: 0.4 gpm for 15 minutes;
- Eye/face wash: 3 gpm for 15 minutes
Due to the nature of the units there are strict guidelines and criteria in the install of eyewash stations, to allow correct stream, activation protection to the components and access to the station. Contact Mackie Plumbing and Gas today to discuss compliance of any existing eye wash stations, for any new installations and for eye wash maintenance works.
Emergency or safety showers, also referred to as deluge showers are designed to flush the user’s head and body, washing off hazardous chemicals that may be splashed on the skin. Due to the high rate and pressure of the water they should not be used for flushing out eyes. Safety showers can also be used to effectively extinguish fires or for flushing contaminants off clothing. The showers give full and evenly distributed body coverage, have immediate activation and remain operational without requiring the operator’s hand on the valve/handle. They also have a minimum volume of spray in line with Australian Standards and run for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Combination Emergency Units
Combination units refer to equipment sharing common plumbing fixtures. Any of the fixtures including emergency shower, eyewash, eye/face wash or drench hose may be in this combination, however the most common combination unit is the shower and an eye wash station. Regardless of being combined each separate piece of the station must comply with code for correct pressure and volume requirements.
Hand-held drench hoses are supplemental devices designed to be used in conjunction or support emergency showers and eyewashes. Consisting of a flexible hose connected to a flushing fluid supply they are used to provide fluid to irrigate and flush face and body areas. Drench Hoses are useful to ‘spot rinse’ or reach areas of the face and body inaccessible to the fixed stream of a deluge shower or eye wash unit. The drench hose must provide a flow rate of at least 3 gpm for 15 minutes.