OHS Canada Magazine

Common Reasons for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Station Non-compliance

November 26, 2018
By EmergencyShowers.com

Industrial and chemical workplaces are required, by law, to meet all safety expectations and take the necessary precautions to ensure that the work environment reflects the industry. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) outlines requirements specifically for the placement, installation and use of the two most common safety units: emergency showers and eyewash stations.

While some establishments follow through accurately and manage these units effectively, others are non-compliant for various reasons. Below, we have outlined some of the most common reasons for emergency eyewash and shower station noncompliance.

Installation matters

In some instances, an emergency unit can fail for non-compliance when installations are incomplete, defective or hazardous. For example, if eyewash nozzles or showerheads are incorrectly placed, it can result in malfunction during a real emergency. Follow all ANSI installation requirements and do trials to ensure that all parts are installed in the right manner with the correct orientation and security.

Labels, signs and lighting

If your emergency unit, be it the eyewash station or shower, is not installed and placed in a location that is well lit and free from obstruction on the ground or path within at least ten metres from the unit, it can be flagged for noncompliance. A huge part of the effectiveness of these systems is accessibility. If users are unable to see or are hindered during their attempt to obtain help, the ramifications can be life-threatening. Equally important are labels and signs. Inadequate or missing signs can mislead a victim.

Inadequate water pressure

Eyewash and shower emergency stations are relied upon for their convenience and pressure. If the water is not flowing at rapid speed with significant pressure, it may result in poor flushing qualities. Furthermore, any delay in this process caused by the flow of water can prolong the chemicals in the victim’s eyes or body and can result in severe and long-term injuries.

Mechanical problems

Finally, if there are parts of the eyewash station or emergency shower, such as the pull rod or push flag, that are stuck or broken, this will onset severe noncompliance in that it is likely to hinder performance.

If your emergency units are at risk for non-compliance, assess, inspect and change them immediately to ensure your safety and the safety of your employees and staff.

Based in Calgary, EmergencyShowers.com sells eyewash stations and emergency-shower systems throughout Canada and the United States via its online store.