Do you know the protocol to flushing hazardous chemicals off of your body in an emergency? It’s always a good rule of thumb to be knowledgeable on how to properly execute safety shower and eyewash performance in an emergency situation. Take the time to get to know the mechanics of the emergency equipment in your facility before an accident takes place. Casey Hayes, director of Haws Integrated™, recommends the following:
- Get a proper training session on emergency equipment. Be aware of the location of the unit and how long it takes to arrive at the unit from your work space.
- Confirm that it should not take more than 10 seconds to arrive to the emergency equipment.
- Upon arrival to the shower, pull lever and remain in shower for a full 15 minutes. This is to ensure the prevention of chemical absorption while it also helps to cool burns and prevent hypothermia.
- When using an eyewash or eye/face wash, hold eyes open during the entire 15 minute flushing period.
- In some cases, it may be appropriate to have a partner with you during the state of emergency. If you work alone, you may not have the opportunity to have someone assist you. We recommend that if you are in a state of shock, have a co-worker assist you to the emergency shower and or eyewash station. If you are saturated in chemicals, it is best not to expose anyone else and to proceed to the emergency station alone.
- Always go to the emergency room following the use of the emergency shower and/or eyewash.
Furthermore, it’s essential to have functional emergency showers and eyewashes throughout your facility. Refer to our previous blog post ANSI Z358.1 FAQ: What is the Weekly vs. Annual Test for a break down on when it is appropriate to perform each test. We also offer a free webinar on the requirements for emergency eyewashes and showers. Click here to watch.
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