Fixed Eye Wash
hat does eyewash do?
The eyes are naturally protected by the eyelid, eyelashes, and eyebrows. The eye will innately respond to contamination by the production of tears. This is the eye’s natural eyewash which rinses the eye of whatever contamination it came into contact with.
But sometimes the eye’s natural eyewash is not enough, for example, if a foreign object such as a splinter gets into the eye, or if the eye is splashed with bleach. In instances like this, the eye needs thorough and immediate flushing to remove the harmful material before it has a chance to injure the eye by moving around or irritating the delicate membranes. This is what eyewash is used for.
What is an eyewash station?
An eyewash station is an instalment where the eyes can be flushed with water or a sterile solution to rinse them if they have become contaminated.
What is an eyewash station used for?
An eyewash station is used to quickly and safely rinse the eyes. It can be in a fixed permanent location, or portable. It can be linked up to a water supply or it can be wall-mounted with a replaceable supply of sterile solution. An eyewash station should use specially distilled water or sterile water solution to hygienically clean the eyes.
Eyewash stations are designed to be easy for anyone to use, even if they’ve never used one before or have impaired sight at the time. They should be installed in a sensible, intuitive place that is easy to reach from all areas of eye injury risk.
The addition of an eye care kit means that eye injuries can be effectively treated no matter where they occur on the business premises. An eye care kit is similar to a first aid kit but its contents are concerned only with cleaning and dressing eye wounds.
Where should eyewash and eyewash stations be used?
An eyewash station is required anywhere the potential for eye injury is present in the workplace. If you are the owner or operator of the business or the competent person assigned to health and safety, or first aid, it is your responsibility to confirm whether an eyewash station is needed and that one is installed correctly.
Types of Eyewash Stations
There are two different types of eyewash stations: plumbed and portable.
Plumbed Eyewash Stations
These are stations that are plumbed directly into the water supply of the building. A plumbed eyewash station is often attached to a regular sink in the form of a faucet adaption. Plumbed eyewash stations are capable of delivering large amounts of water in a constant stream.
However, plumbed eyewash stations are not the preferred type used by many businesses due to their expensiveness to install and maintain and their impracticality. Plumbed eyewash stations are difficult to move, involving professional intervention to re-establish the stream of water elsewhere. This presents a problem if the injured person can’t make it to the eyewash station location.
Plumbed eyewash stations also require weekly maintenance to ensure the stream of water is hygienic and won’t end up contaminating the eye further with bacteria or germs.
Another setback of the plumbed eyewash station is the fact that it uses tap water. The temperature of tap water cannot be guaranteed before turning on the tap. The water stream may be too hot or too cold for the eye to withstand.
Too cold water can result in an involuntary reaction of squinting the eyes, decreasing the effectiveness of the eyewash. Too hot water can irritate the eye or even cause a burn. Waiting for the temperature of the water to adjust means prolonging the wait time before decontaminating the eye. The pH of tap water also does not match the pH of the eye and can cause irritation and discomfort on contact, making an eyewash more difficult.
Portable Eyewash Stations
A portable eyewash station is a station or wall plaque that can be installed in the desired place. It does not need to be connected to the water supply because it includes its own supply of eyewash solution (either distilled water or saline solution).
Portable eyewash stations are often the first choice for workplaces because of their flexibility and benefits. Portable stations can be easily moved or their eyewash bottles removed for relocation, this means someone can be treated if they cannot move to the location of the station as it can be brought to them.
Detachable eyewash bottles also make eye washing more accessible for disabled people, or washing cleaning cuts and wounds hygienically. They can also be taken in an ambulance or other vehicle on a journey to the hospital. Eyewash pods contain a small amount of eyewash solution that can be easily squirted into the eye or even used to clean a wound elsewhere on the body.
Eyewash in portable stations is kept at room temperature meaning there’s less chance of a hot or cold water aversion reaction. If a saline solution is used, the natural pH of the eye won’t be affected and little to no irritation will occur during the wash. Sealed bottles of eyewash solution have a longer shelf life and are guaranteed to not be open to contamination until the seal is broken, meaning as long as the solution is in date it does not need to be maintained. If you partner with Steroplast to supply your eyewash and eyecare supplies, we’ll notify you when your eyewash is close to its use-by date so you never find yourself with out of date eyewash solution.
Types of Eyewash Solution
The HSE requires that “If mains tap water is not readily available for eye irrigation, at least one litre of sterile water or sterile normal saline (0.9% w/v) in sealed, disposable containers should be provided.”
Eyewash solution that portable eyewash stations are equipped with can either be distilled, sterile water or sterile saline solution. Here are some commonly asked questions about what can be used to irrigate the eyes.
Can you wash eyes with saline solution?
Can I use saline solution as eyewash? If you’re wondering what solution to use for eyewash, saline solution is usually the best thing and most common choice for workplaces, first aiders, and healthcare professionals.
So, what is in eyewash solution? Saline eyewash solution in plain terms is made up of distilled water and a small quantity of sodium chloride. Sterile saline used in eyewash solution is commonly at a concentration of 0.9%. It is an isotonic solution that does not take away or add fluid to the cells it comes into contact with by the power of osmosis. This means it is optimal for cleaning an irritated or injured eye as it does not irritate or damage tissue, affect normal healing processes, cause allergy, or affect the normal bacterial flora of the eye tissue and skin.
How long does eyewash solution last?
You should consult the manufacturer’s guidance for the shelf life of your eyewash solution. Sterowash eyewash solution in 500ml bottles has a shelf life of four years, and Sterowash eyewash 20ml pods have a shelf life of two years.
If you partner with Steroplast we’ll notify you when your eyewash is about to go out of date so you have time to replace it and don’t find yourself with out of date eyewash in a crisis.
an you wash your eyes with tap water?
Plumbed eyewash stations use tap water from municipal water sources. The tap water should be potable (safe for human consumption) and the eyewash station should be regularly flushed and cleaned to remove any build-up of bacteria or stagnant water.
Tap water can be used to wash out eyes but it’s not necessarily the best option. The chlorine and other chemicals that may be present in the water can cause irritation to the eye, as well as the water temperature, both of which can make eye washing more difficult, uncomfortable, and less effective.
There is also less of a guarantee that tap water is hygienic. Whereas sealed eyewash solution in bottles is sterile until the seal is broken, taps on a plumbed eyewash station present more risk of contamination if not maintained or cleaned properly or regularly.
Can you wash your eyes with salt water?
Saline solution is in fact a type of saltwater as it is made with sodium chloride (salt). In a pinch, homemade saltwater could be used in eye irrigation. But making your own saltwater is ultimately not very convenient for eye washing due to several
There are several types of emergency eyewash station and safety shower station systems, including safety showers, eyewash stations, drench hoses, combination units, and eyewash bottles.
How to use Emergency Shower.
A safety shower is a unit designed to wash an individual’s head and body which has come into contact with hazardous chemicals. Large volumes of water are used and a user may need to take off any clothing that has been contaminated with hazardous chemicals. Safety showers cannot be used for flushing an individual’s eyes, due to the high pressure of water from the shower, which can damage a user’s
Fixed Eye Washer
How to use Emergency Eye wash.
An eyewash station is a unit for washing off chemicals or substances that might have splashed into an individual’s eyes before he or she can seek further medical attention. The individual needs to wash their eyes for at least 15 minutes.
A drench hose is an equipment that can spray water to a specific spot of the chemical exposure on individual’s body. The benefit of a drench hose is that it can be applied to an individual who cannot reach a normal eyewash or shower station or in the case where the eyewash and shower station are unavailable.
Combination Unit Fixed Eye Washer
A combination unit is where other units such as a shower station, eyewash station, and drench hose share the same water supply plumbing. This unit is useful in a laboratory where hazardous chemicals with different properties are used.
Also known as a personal eyewash unit, it is a supplementary for eyewash stations. However, eyewash stations cannot be replaced by eyewash bottles since they do not meet safety standards. Eyewash bottles allow an individual to flush the injured area immediately, or until the individual can reach the fixed eyewash station. Early eye washes were designed with a single rinsing stream, but recent advancements have made eye washes capable of flushing both eyes simultaneously. A pH neutral solution for emergency eyewash may also be chosen to reduce the danger from contaminants if strong acids or alkali chemicals are presented.
Specification and requirement
In the United States, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations on emergency eyewash and shower station are contained in 29 C.F.R. 1910.151 (c), which provides that “Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.” However, OSHA regulation is unclear defining what facility is required. From this reason, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has developed a standard Fixed Eye Washer for emergency eyewash and shower stations, including the design of such stations Fixed Eye Washer
The path from the hazard to the safety shower shall be free of obstructions and tripping hazards. Water supply should be enough to provide at least 20 gallons per minute of water for 15 minutes (Section 4.1.2, 4.5.5). Hand free valve should be able to open within one second and remain open until it is manually closed (Section 4.2, 4.1.5). The top of the water column shall not be lower than 82" (208.3 cm) and no higher than 96" (243.8 cm) above the surface floor the user is standing on(Section 5.1.3, 4.5.4). Center of the water column should be at least 16" (40.6 cm) away from any obstruction (Section 4.1.4, 4.5.4). Actuator should be easily accessible and easily located. It should be no more than 69" (173.3 cm) above the surface floor the user is standing on (Section 4.2). At 60" (152.4 cm) above the floor, the water pattern should be 20" (50.8 cm) in diameter (Section 4.1.4). If shower enclosure is provided. It should provide 34" in diameter of unobstructed space (86.4 cm) (Section 4.3). Water temperature of safety shower station should be within 60 °F - 100 °F (16 °C - 38 °C). Safety shower stations should have highly visible and well lit signage.
The path from the hazard to the Eyewash or Eye/Face wash shall be free of obstructions and tripping hazards.Fixed Eye Washer
Eyewash station shall flush both eyes simultaneously within gauge guidelines (Eyewash gauge detailed in
Eye or Eye/Face wash shall provide a controlled flow of water that is non-injurious to the user (Section
Nozzles and flushing fluid shall be protected from airborne contaminants (dust covers), and shall not require a separate motion by the operator when activating the equipment (section 5.1.3).
Eye washes must deliver , Eye/Face washes must provide 3 gpm for 15 minutes.
The top of the Eye or Eye/Face wash water flow must not fall below 33″ (83.8 cm) and can be no higher than 53″ (134.6 cm) from the floor surface floor the user is standing on.
The head or heads of the Eyewash or Eye/Face wash must be 6″ (15.3 cm) away from any obstructions
The valve must allow for 1 second operation and the valve shall remain open without the use of the operator’s hands until intentionally closed.
Manual or automatic actuators shall be easy to locate and readily accessible to the user
Water temperature of Eye or Eye/Face wash station should be within
Eye or Eye/Face wash stations should have highly visible and well lit signag
Why are emergency showers or eyewash stations important?
Fixed Eye Washer The first 10 to 15 seconds after exposure to a hazardous substance, especially a corrosive substance, are critical. Delaying treatment, even for a few seconds, may cause serious injury.
Emergency showers and eyewash stations provide on-the-spot decontamination. They allow workers to flush away hazardous substances that can cause injury.Fixed Eye Washer
Accidental chemical exposures can still occur even with good engineering controls and safety precautions. As a result, it is essential to look beyond the use of goggles, Fixed Eye Washer face shields, and procedures for using personal protective equipment. Emergency showers and eyewash stations are a necessary backup to minimize the effects of accident exposure to chemicals.
Emergency showers can also be used effectively in extinguishing clothing fires or for flushing contaminants off clothing.
hat type of equipment should I install?
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Emergency showers are designed to flush the user’s head and body. They should not be used to flush the user’s eyes because the high rate or pressure of water flow could damage the eyes in some instances. Eyewash stations are designed to flush the eye and face area only. There are combination units available that contain both features: a shower and an eyewash.
The need for emergency showers or eyewash stations is based on the properties of the chemicals that workers use and the tasks that they do in the workplace. A job hazard analysis can provide an evaluation of the potential hazards of the job and the work areas. The selection of protection — emergency shower, eyewash or both — should match the hazard.Fixed Eye Washer
In some jobs or work areas, the effect of a hazard may be limited to the worker’s face and eyes. Therefore, an eyewash station may be the appropriate device for worker protection. In other situations the worker may risk part or full body contact with a chemical. In these areas, an emergency shower may be more appropriate.
A combination unit has the ability to flush any part of the body or all of the body. It is the most protective device and should be used wherever possible. This unit is also appropriate in work areas where detailed information about the hazards is lacking, or where complex, hazardous operations involve many chemicals with different properties. A combination unit is useful in situations where there are difficulties handling a worker who may not be able to follow directions because of intense pain or shock from an injury.Fixed Eye Washer
Eyewash and Eye/Face Wash Stations
Eyewash stations should be designed to deliver fluid to both eyes simultaneously at a volume of not less than minute (0.4 gallons/minute) for 15 minutes. The combination eye and face wash stations require per minute (3.0 gallons per minute). However, in either case, the volume should not be at a velocity which may injure the eyes. The unit should be between 83.8 and 134.6 cm (33 to 53 inches) from the floor, and a minimum of 15.3 cm (6 inches) from the wall or nearest obstruction.
What temperature should the water be?
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The 2014 ANSI standard recommends that the water should be “tepid” and defines this temperature as being between 16-38°C (60-100°F). Temperatures higher than 38°C (100°F) are harmful to the eyes and can enhance chemical interaction with the skin and eyes. Long flushing times with cold water (less than 16°C (60°F)) can cause hypothermia and may result in not rinsing or showering for the full recommended time (ANSI 2014). With thermal burns (injuries to the skin), the American Heart Association (2010) noted that water temperatures of 1 help to cool the burn and that “cooling reduces pain, edema, and depth of injury”. (However, do not apply ice directly to the skin.)Fixed Eye Washer
Remember that any chemical splash should be rinsed for a minimum of 15 minutes but rinsing time can be up to 60 minutes. The temperature of the water should be one that can be tolerated for the required length of time. Water that is too cold or too hot will inhibit workers from rinsing or showering as long as they should.
Install anti-scalding devices Fixed Eye Washer temperature control valve or thermostatic tempering valve), constant flow meters, and other devices that will help maintain a constant temperature and flow rate. For cold or outdoor locations, emergency showers with heated plumbing are available. In hot climates, outdoor emergency showers should also have a tempering valve so that workers are not exposed to water that is too hot.Fixed Eye Washer
When should equipment be inspected and maintained?
Fixed Eye Washer One person in the work area should be designated responsible for inspecting and operating (activating) the emergency shower, eyewash station, combination units, and drench hoses weekly. A weekly activation will help make sure that there is flushing fluid available as well as clear the supply line of sediments and minimize microbial contamination caused by ‘still’ or sitting water. This person should keep a signed, dated record. The ANSI standard also recommends a complete inspection on an annual (yearly) basis.
Preventive maintenance inspections should Fixed Eye Washer check for such problems as valve leakage, clogged openings and lines, and adequacy of the fluid volume. A work record of these inspections should be kept. Replacement parts should be kept on hand to prevent the system from becoming non-functional. If the system breaks down for any reason, the workers in the area should be properly warned and protected.
Personal eyewash equipment should be inspected and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions and at least annually for overall operation.
n the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created as a result of the Occupational Safety and Health Act Fixed Eye Washer of 1970. The law was created to help further protect employee safety while providing “safe & healthful working conditions.” OSHA’s primary eyewash standard, 29 CFR 1910.151 states, “where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.”
These suitable facilities include fixed-point eye wash stations (which are especially recommended for risk of chemical burns to eyes) and emergency eye wash stations.Fixed Eye Washer
OSHA provides additional regulations for battery charging stations in “Facilities for quick drenching of the eyes and body shall be provided within 25 feet of battery handling areas.”Fixed Eye Washer