Safety Showers In Laboratories: Best Practices

Submitted by Zenka Hattingh

on Mon, 07/24/2017 - 13:48

Having at least one safety shower or eyewash facility in your laboratory is crucial for various reasons. As many practitioners would know, making use of a safety shower within the first 15 seconds after chemical exposure is vital for preventing any serious long-term injury. By not having a properly installed and fully functioning safety shower in your laboratory, you could be liable for thousands in attorney costs due to negligence – leaving you completely exposed and in serious trouble.

By law, according to the Australian National Standard, you must have your safety shower and eyewash facility tested annually to ensure that it’s in good working condition for moments when you need it and least expect it.

Here’s how you can best maintain your safety shower and eyewash facility:

1. Conduct annual inspections

Although a weekly inspection of your safety shower and eyewash facility can be conducted by a facility staff member, it’s absolutely critical that the annual inspection is performed by a certified plumbing technician with many years of experience in the field. Knowing exactly what to look for to ensure optimum working condition, the inspector will perform the inspection according to the device manufacturer’s instructions and requirements – as per the Australian National Standard.

Time for an annual safety shower and eyewash facility inspection? Contact us.

2. Provide important training

Having peace of mind that your laboratory contains at least one safety shower and eyewash facility simply isn’t enough. You also need to ensure that your staff members are aware of how to properly use the facilities in case of an emergency. Remember, you only have approximately 15 seconds to wash off the contaminant before possible serious damage is done, so it’s vital that each staff member is trained properly on how to help themselves in times of need. Thus, understanding the types of exposure and treatment necessary is important, as well as where to activate the water supply to its maximum flow in order to rid the skin of any contaminants.

3. Perform a thorough site walk

Processes rarely remain constant in a laboratory or even a manufacturing floor, which is why it’s important to do a thorough site walk on a regular basis in order to ensure that new staff members or floor managers are fully aware of the processes involved when dealing with a chemical emergency. Thus, all staff members, new and old, need to be aware of where safety showers and eyewash facilities are placed to reduce the response time – since every second will count.

4. Ensure easy accessibility

All staff members need to be aware of the placement of safety showers and eyewash facilities within the laboratory in order to cut down response and treatment time – ensuring that minimum damage is done if a staff member comes into contact with chemical exposure. It’s important to ensure that there is never more than one door separating the safety shower and the laboratory floor. Also, ensure that there’s enough space from the head of the shower that’s clear of any obstructions – approximately 40 cms.

With over 60 years of experience in commercial plumbing, our main objective is to ensure safety and affordability to our clients. Specialising in safety shower and eyewash testing, we’ll ensure that you receive a testing reminder every 12 months to ensure that your safety shower and eyewash facilities are in working order and maintained in order to ensure optimum health and safety to your employees – ensuring that you’re up to date with important annual testing requirements.

Contact us for your annual safety shower and eyewash facility inspection.