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Many clients are unclear about exactly what standards are required for an Emergency Deluge Safety Shower. This article aims to clarify in laymans terms to assist worksite Safety Managers in determining the right product to meet their needs.
There are a number of myths in the marketplace about suitable substitute equipment for plumbed Emergency Safety Showers and Eye / Face Washes. However the following are not acceptable in accordance with the standard:-
- Personal Eyewash equipment, such as squeeze bottles, do not meet the requirements of plumbed or self-contained eyewash equipment.
- Hand held drench hoses do not meet the criteria of a plumbed or self – contained eyewash.
- Self closing shower valves do not meet this standard and should be replaced with stay open valves.
If these are the only means of protection, they should be replaced or supplemented with equipment meeting the requirements of AS4775-2007.
There are a number of reference documents relating to when and where the emergency safety showers and eyewashes are to be located. Below is a brief summary of the main ones
Workcover requirement – Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.
AS19400 – 2004 para 4.6 (c) The following items shall be provided within 10 m of, but not nearer than 2 m, to stores where packages are opened:
i. Eye wash facilities complying with ANSI Z358.1
ii. Water for the washing of hands
(d) A Safety Shower shall be installed where –
i. the quantity of liquids exceeds 2000L; or
ii. required by risk assessment or regulation.
NOTE: Safety Showers should comply with ANSI Z358.1
AS3780 – 2008 Explains the regulations regarding eye/face wash or a deluge shower to be located within an area used for the charging and maintenance of electric storage batteries.
A simple first step in determining if you worksite requires a Emergency Safety Shower or Eye/Face wash can be a simple self assessment. This Self Assessment will be the first step and will assist you in determining if a more detailed risk analysis is to be completed.
- Look for containers used to handle or store these materials and make sure ANSI Z358.1 – 1998 compliant Emergency Equipment is within 10 seconds travel distance.
- Look for areas where workers are using Personal Protective Equipment such as goggles and liquid proof gloves. These are found in areas where hazardous materials are being used and eyewashes and/or showers will/may be required as secondary protection.
- Look for signs of hazardous materials and make sure eyewashes and showers are within the required distance.
- Make sure emergency equipment is properly located near these hazards.
- Review the storage, transfer and use of flammable liquids in your workplace and these areas may require showers and/or eyewashes as secondary protection.
Requirements of Emergency Deluge Safety Showers
The following features are essential when considering selection of an Emergency Deluge Safety Shower or Eyewash in commercial and industrial environments. This includes schools, universities and hospitals.
- ANSI Z358.1 – 1998 requires that shower valves be of simple operation, turn off to on in one second or less, and provide hands free operation once activated.
- ANSI Z358.1 – 1998 requires that flushing fluids shall be tepid. Make sure that supplied water temperatures are in the range of 15º C and 35º C. This is important in hot environments where the pipes are exposed and heated during the day.
This article is just a general introduction to some of the requirements and myths surrounding Safety Showers and emergency eye / face washes. This article needs to be considered in conjunction with the following relevant standards for Requirements of Emergency Deluge Safety Showers and Safety Eye washes:-
- ANSI Z358.1 – 2004 Emergency Eye Wash and Shower Equipment (This is the base document that was used in the production of the Australian Standard AS4775-2007)
- AS4775-2007 Emergency Eye Wash and Shower Equipment
- AS3780-2008 The storage and handling of corrosive substances
- AS1940-2004 The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids
Here is a general video on the Speakman Emergency Deluge Safety Showers and Eye / Face Wash to get an understanding of some products available.
A supplier of the Speakman product range of safety showers and eye washes in Australia is Big Safety. There range can be viewed by clicking Emergency Deluge Safety Showers .
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