portable eye washer

Emergency Eyewash Station
What Does Emergency Eyewash Station Mean?

An emergency eyewash station is a portable or permanent station for the exclusive purpose of rinsing the eyes after worksite contamination. Stations allow employees to make use of on the spot decontamination within seconds of exposure. In many industries, eye wash stations are essential compliments to such personal protective equipment as goggles, and face shields. Emergency eyewash stations are fitted with a flushing fluid that has been found to be a medically acceptable means of flushing contaminants from the eye.portable eye washer
Emergency eyewash stations may use potable water, saline solution that has been preserved and buffered or preserved water as a flushing fluid. The equipment installed should provide fluid for flushing for a minimum of 15 minutes. Eyewash stations should be confined to the flushing of the eyes and face only, while emergency showers should be used for larger exposure emergencies. The station should allow the flushing fluid to be applied to both eyes at the same time. The velocity of the flush should not be too much that it actually causes harm to the eye
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.”portable eye washer

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.portable eye washer
How long does eyewash solution last?

You should consult the manufacturer’s guidance for the shelf life of your eyewash solution. Stero wash eyewash solution in 500ml bottles has a shelf life of four years, and Stero wash eyewash 20ml pods have a shelf life of two years.portable eye washer

If you partner with Stero plast 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.
Can 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.portable eye washer

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.
s eyewash the same as contact solution?

Can you use contact lens solution as eyewash? Contact lens solution should not be used as an eyewash. Contact lens solution and saline solution are made for different means and have different ingredients.

Contact lens solution is designed to disinfect contact lenses and clean them. It contains saline solution along with cleaning agents. The cleaning agents are designed to break down and remove organic material on contact lenses so they are hygienic for their next use. If you wash your eyes with contact lens solution it can damage their delicate membrane layers.

What other factors should I consider when selecting and using this type of emergency equipment?

The following factors should also be considered as part of a hazard analysis when decisions are being made about the selection and use of emergency showers, eyewash stations or combination units:
Potentially hazardous substances in the immediate work area,portable eye washer

All hazardous substances need to be properly identified. A review of safety data sheets (SDSs) and labels can help to evaluate the hazard. To select the appropriate eyewash and shower equipment, you must know about the chemicals you use and their potential risks!
Number of workers in an area with a hazardous substance

More than one emergency shower or eyewash station may be required in an area where many workers use hazardous substances. Evaluate how many workers are using the hazardous chemicals, and provide more equipment where necessary to ensure the each worker’s protection.
Isolated workers

The installation of an audible or visual alarm can alert other workers when the emergency shower or eyewash station is being used. An alarm is especially important if only one worker happens to be working in that area. A person may need help in getting to the eyewash if temporarily blinded. Some companies connect valves electrically to warning lights or buzzers in central areas.
Comfort and warmth

Extra overalls and foot covers should be stored near emergency showers. Clothes contaminated with corrosive or toxic chemicals need to be removed from the injured person. Consider installing a privacy curtain (but remember to maintain the ‘obstacle free’ diameter dimension as stated in the ANSI standard.)
Quality of the Flushing Fluid

Changing the fluid in self-contained systems frequently and cleaning the units regularly can prevent inadvertent use of contaminated fluid. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for further details. Even in plumbed eyewash stations, the water may contain contaminants such as rust, scale and chemicals. Systems should be flushed and cleaned regularly.

The tear film of the eye is made up of three layers: the outer oil layer, the middle watery layer and the inner mucus layer. The two inner layers keep the eye moist and hydrated while the outer layer protects the inner ones by preventing evaporation of moisture.

Contact lens solution can break down the outer oil layer of the eye making the middle and inner layers dry out and prone to irritation, infection, and injury portable eye washer

What type of equipment should I install?

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.portable 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.
All dimensions and measurements are taken from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard Z358.1-2014 “Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment”. However, not all dimensions and measurements required by the ANSI standard are listed here.
Emergency Showers

The emergency shower should deliver a pattern of water with a diameter of at least 50.8 cm (20 inches) at 152.4 cm (60 inches). This diameter ensures that the water will come into contact with the entire body – not just the top of the person’s head. ANSI also recommends the shower head be between 208.3 and 243.8 cm (82-96 inches) from the floor. The minimum volume of spray should be 75.7 litres/minute (20 gallons/minute) for a minimum time of 15 minutes.

The shower should also be designed so that it can be activated in less than 1 second, and it remains operational without the operator’s hand on the valve (or lever, handle, etc.). This valve should not be more than 173.3 cm (69 inches) in height. If enclosures are used, ensure that there is an unobstructed area of 86.4 cm (34 inches) in diameter.
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 1.5 litres/minute (0.4 gallons/minute) for 15 minutes. The combination eye and face wash stations require 11.4 litres 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.
With an eye wash station, the user should be able to open their eyelids with their hands and still have their eyes in the liquid. In the case of the eye/face wash, the user should have enough room to allow the eyelids to be held open with the hands while the eyes and face are still in the stream. As with the shower, the unit should also be designed so that it can be activated in less than 1 second, and it remains operational without the operator’s hand on the valve (or lever, handle, etc.) with the valve being located in an easily located place. Since the nozzles to eyewash stations typically need to be protected from airborne contaminants, the units are to be designed such that the removal of these covers should not require a separate motion by the user when the unit is activated.portable eye washer
Self-contained Eye/Face Washes

Install and maintain according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Similar requirements apply as with the plumbed units regarding the unit’s ability to provide flushing liquid for at least 15 minutes, accessible access, and to deliver tepid flushing fluid.
Personal Wash Stations

Designed to deliver flushing fluid immediately, personal wash stations can be used while transporting the person to the permanent eyewash station or medical facility. These stations do not replace the requirement to have a 15 minute-supply eyewash station. The expiry date of the fluid should be printed permanently on the unit.
Drench Hoses

Drench hoses may be used to “spot” rinse an area when a full shower is not required, to assist a person when the person is unable to stand or is unconscious, or to wash under a piece of clothing before the clothing is removed. The ANSI standard states that a drench hose may be considered an eyewash or eye/face wash if the drench hose meets the performance requirements as listed in the standard.

Where should the emergency equipment be located?

To be effective, the equipment has to be accessible. ANSI recommends that a person be able to reach the equipment in no more than 10 seconds. In practical terms, consider that the person who needs the equipment will be injured, and may not have use of their vision. ANSI notes that the average person can walk 16 to 17 metres (55 feet) in 10 seconds, but this does not account for the physical and emotional state of the person in an emergency.portable eye washer

As such, the “10 second” rule may be modified depending on the potential effect of the chemical. Where a highly corrosive chemical is used, an emergency shower and eyewash station may be required to be closer to the workstation. Check with a professional with knowledge in this area. These units should be installed in such a way that they do not become contaminated from corrosive chemicals used nearby.

The location of each emergency shower or eyewash station should be identified with a highly visible sign. The sign should be in the form of a symbol that does not require workers to have language skills to understand it. The location should be well lit.

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