The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has propagated two distinct regulations, which address the need of emergency showers and eyewash stations to be placed in work areas where harmful chemical and oil spills can occur any time. The American National Standards Institute along with the International Safety Equipment Association developed the standards for these items which should be followed in activities that utilize an open surface tank, storages of anhydrous ammonia, telecommunications, formaldehyde handling and several others. Anyone who works with hazardous chemicals and substances knows that spillages can occur at any point of time, and therefore, it is important to have an access to the emergency showers that can wash all the contaminants effectively.
Why are the emergency care stations so important?
The first few seconds right after you have been exposed to any kind of hazardous substance are extremely crucial. If there is a delay in the treatment, it may lead to severe and irreparable injuries. Therefore, it is important to install the emergency showers and eyewash stations that offer immediate decontamination. Accidental exposure to various chemicals can occur irrespective of the safety precautions and engineering controls. These emergency stations can minimize the harmful effects of accidental exposures and are also used for extinguishing fires in the clothing.
What kinds of fluids are used in washing off
The standards define that the flushing fluids of the emergency showers and eyewash stations can be any variant of drinking water, saline solution, medicated solution and preserved water as well. The affected part of the body must be flushed instantly and thoroughly for at least a quarter of an hour with huge supply of clear fluid at a lowered pressure when the nature of the contaminant is unknown. The time of flushing can be modified as per the regulation when you know the type and properties of the chemicals.
How should be the design of the eyewash stations
An eyewash station should be designed for delivering the fluid to both the eyes at the same time. The volume of water or the fluid must not be less than 1.5 litres per minutes for at least 15 minutes. It should be located in close proximity to any potentially dangerous material and there should be an unobstructed way through which the affected person can reach there. It must be located at such a place that people can easily see them.
When is the spill response kit required
It goes without saying that all spills of hazardous substances are different and there is no distinct way of handling each one, especially when someone has been accidentally spilt harmful chemicals. In all such instances, there should be an easy access to the chemical spill response kit so that the impacts can be avoided and controlled. All the workers should have a comprehensive knowledge about the flammability, corrosion, toxicity and reactivity properties of the chemicals so that they can assist, and themselves come out of the mishap instantly with the aid of properly designed response kit. Take a look at Absorb Environmental Solutions.
A workplace, where workers regularly work with different types of harmful chemicals and oils, must also have an ample supply of oil spill kit for eradicating the possibility of potential threats from hazardous oil spillages.