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Emergency shower considerations

Emergency Shower and Eyewash Specification Considerations

June 2018

The specification and installation of emergency showers and eyewashes requires careful consideration of several factors, most of which are driven by the specific needs and risks of a given business as well as the requirements of AS4775 - 2007

Emergency equipment must be located on the same level and within an unobstructed, 10-second walk from a potential hazard. The number of showers/eyewashes available and their individual locations must be evaluated when determining installation locations.

High visibility of safety equipment can be achieved with clear signage, proper lighting and the use of the colour known as “safety green.” This colour is used industrially to designate both the concept of safety and the physical locations of first aid and emergency response equipment, including drench showers and eyewashes.

When it comes to emergency response equipment, there is no shortage of available products. And with so many choices – oftentimes differentiated only by subtle differences – it’s important to critically assess specific risks to determine the most suitable product. For example, specifying an eyewash in a chemical plant where liquids form the general risk may not be the best solution. What if an acid or base is splashed onto a victim’s face, not just in his eyes? In that instance, an eye/face wash would have been the most appropriate choice.

With recent product advancements such as flow controls and designs inspired by eye irrigation protocols used within the medical community, choosing the most suitable equipment also means making a selection from the most current generation of products.

SS emergency shower with cover

In its current form, AS4775 - 2007 requires that outlet water temperatures range from 15.7ºC to below 37.8ºC throughout the entire required 15-minute drench or irrigation cycle. Water that is too hot or too cold can have negative physical affects on a victim, including scalding, hypothermia or shortened drench cycles. Providing tempered water is an often-overlooked requirement.

One of the implied responsibilities of specifying and installing emergency equipment is assuring a maintenance process designed to keep safety showers, eyewashes and associated system

components functioning optimally. AS4775 requires a weekly activation, intended to assure proper operation and to flush out possible sediment, as well as a more detailed annual inspection. Installing safety equipment in such a way as to facilitate these inspections will help assure proper maintenance.

For more information on the full range of AS4775 compliant solutions contact us to arrange an inspection at your facility.


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