How To Properly Place & Use A Safety Shower
Any workplace that handles corrosive chemicals and other harmful substances should have safety showers installed. This is a given, but just having the safety shower isn’t quite enough. Due to the fact that response times matter so much, safety showers become quite important, and their location matters immensely.
With this in mind, there are standards in place to ensure the location of the safety showers are placed as well as possible, to mitigate risk.
Considerations for the Best Safety Shower Use
Here is what to keep in mind when it comes to Australian standards.
Distance from Potential Hazards
The further someone has to travel from the place they encountered a hazard to the safety shower, the greater the risk of serious damage. This increases if the person is having trouble seeing or is in pain from hazard exposure. For this reason, emergency showers and eyewash stations as well as combined units must be no more than 10 seconds from a hazard.
Distance from Nearest Obstructions
Safety showers and eyewash stations should have a clear path to access. This means nothing can be in the way. Workers should not need to travel through doors or around partitions to reach one, and they should be on the same level as the hazard.
By doing this, you ensure that an injured worker never has to undergo additional obstacles that will hinder their way to the hazard.
Tepid Water Temperature
In addition to location, another standard state that the emergency shower should provide tepid water for a rinsing time of at least 15 minutes. Tepid water is defined as being between 16 to 38 degrees Celsius. This will prevent risks of hypothermia and shock as well as additional burns while a person flushes an affected part of their body.
In the case of portable or outdoor units, you may need insulation to maintain the water temperature, and you may need a temperature control valve for your indoor units too.
Visibility and Visible Signs
Safety showers need to be highly visible so that workers can see them regardless of the angle. This means that floor and wall signage must also be clearly identifiable with easily recognizable labels and symbols.
The location of the shower and its signage must be well-lit, so it can be seen, even if someone is new to the workplace, in shock, or in pain.
Isolation and Privacy for Users
Sometimes it’s necessary for a person to remove their clothing when they use the emergency showers. This is often done as chemical contaminants stay trapped in clothing, increasing the risk of harm. This is where safety shower modesty curtains can be used. It’s also wise to have minimal workers milling around the shower when it’s used, to protect the user’s privacy.
Quantity and Type
The number of safety showers, eyewash stations, or combined units will be subject to the risks involved and the number of workers in your facility. The number and the type of safety showers at your workplace will depend on a risk assessment, this will let you know how many risks there are, and what Is required to keep your workers safe.
Safety showers must be checked often for optimal operation function. Once a year, the whole shower must be serviced, and each week it needs to be activated and tested so that there’s no debris in the pipes and that everything works as required.
Call The Right People
Emergency safety showers are vital for workplace safety, so they aren’t something to take chances with. If you need guidance on how best to place safety showers, how many you need, or with the risk assessment itself, you should look to the team of experts at Spill Station Australia. They’re always ready to lend a helping hand for the safety of Australia, its environment, and its people.