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Emergency Eye Wash

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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There are two main types of emergency eye wash unit. Depending on the model and make, both types can conform to OSHA and ANSI standards, and both can be successfully installed in almost any work environment. The main difference in the two types of emergency eye wash units is that one receives water from a remote source, and the other features a self-contained tank of water or other fluid.

Plumbed eye wash stations are stations that are permanently connected to a source of potable water. Usually, this means that plumbed eye was stations are connected to a buildings plumbing supply. In order to insure that water flows freely and cleanly from a plumbed station, it is recommended that the station be tested at least once a week. Since the water coming from an emergency eye wash station should, under ANSI recommendations, be "tepid" in temperature, it might also be necessary to disconnect the hot water pipe from the eye wash station, thereby preventing the possibility of more serious injury from hot water.

Gravity-fed eye wash stations contain their own water or flush fluid, and usually must be refilled after every use. In the case of gravity-fed units, it is important to maintain the unit according to instructions from the manufacturer, and this may include periodically checking the level, cleanliness, and quality of the water in the tank. Both gravity-fed and plumbed eye was stations must be able to maintain a flow of 0.4 gallons per minute for 15 minutes.

Other Varieties of Emergency Eye Wash Station

Other common types of eye wash station include the popular eye and face wash unit, and drench hoses. Eye/face wash units produce water from two or more nozzles that are positioned to directly affect the eyes and clean the face of the user. Drench hoses, like showers, are connected to a water supply and are used to clean and flush the eyes, face, and the body. Both eye/face wash stations and drench hoses must emit at least three gallons of water every minute for at least 15 minutes.


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