Top Three Reasons to Regularly Service Emergency Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units
Before the introduction of emergency safety showers and eye washes as standard safety equipment, employees were subject to a high risk of injury. An incident in the 1950s was instrumental in the formation of Hughes Safety Showers. Charlie Gamble accidentally stepped into a sulphur solution and had to rinse in an old cast iron bath of stagnant water. This was the only place he could find relief from the burns.
A failure in emergency safety equipment today can be avoided by servicing and maintaining emergency safety shower and eye/face wash unit to ensure this life saving equipment functions properly when it is needed.
Here are the top three reasons to regularly schedule safety shower and eye wash unit inspections and services.
1. Help meet EU and International standards
EU and International standards require weekly testing of safety showers and eye wash station inspection as well as annual servicing.
Weekly flush tests clear the piping of any stagnant water, allowing fresh potable water to flow through the pipes. Annual servicing is a more detailed check of the safety shower, eye wash and all associated equipment. Operation of heaters and chillers must be verified. Trace tape heating and insulation should be inspected and defects repaired. Even the flow pattern and rate should be confirmed against international standards such as the ANSI/ISEA Z 358.1-2014.
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure safe working conditions for employees. Safety regulators impose significant fines for violations of standards and prosecutions can lead to prison sentences.
2. It's vital to take into account seasonal changes
Although the ANSI standard only requires one annual safety shower and eye wash station service, it is important to consider changes in season. As winter kicks in, the atmospheric temperatures drop below freezing in many locations. Defects in lagging will lead to frozen pipes and an inoperable safety shower. Checks must be made to ensure the heating is working correctly and the power supply to the equipment is functioning. On the other hand, chillers that are not operating at full efficiency will not cope with the excessively high summer temperatures in other regions.
It is advisable to put in place six monthly services to ensure showers and eye washes are ready to use in an emergency.
3. A basic requirement in regular preventive maintenance
Hughes emergency safety showers and eye washes are provided with a 12-month warranty covering workmanship and product defects. There are also many operating condition influences that affect the working of the equipment and its longevity.
Just like a motor vehicle’s life can be shortened through bad driving and poor servicing, the same is true for any equipment. But, few pieces of equipment are as vital to preventing injuries and saving lives as safety showers and eye washes.
Safety shower and eye wash inspection checklists should include verification that:
- Water flow begins within one second of activation.
- Water flow continues without the use of the operator’s hand.
- Water temperature is in the tepid range of 16-38 ˚C (60-100 ˚F).
- Tanks are clean and water levels are full in the case of emergency tank showers.