OHS Canada Magazine

Location, Location, Location

November 26, 2018
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By Jean Lian

Looking at the space configuration and proximity to hazardous substances are key considerations when determining the best location for installing an emergency shower or eyewash. The greater the danger of contamination, the closer the emergency shower and eyewash should be to the work area, according to WorkSafeNB. Emergency eyewash and shower equipment should be available for immediate use, and it should take no longer than 10 seconds to for those in need to reach the nearest facility.

The following are some does and don’ts in choosing the location for an emergency shower or eyewash station:

  • Keep the pathway to the emergency shower and eyewash clear of obstructions. The area must be kept neat and easily accessible.
  • Provide signage to identify the area where the emergency equipment is located.
  • Store spare clothing and/or blankets near the emergency shower.
  • Leave dust covers supplied with the eyewash in place. They prevent dust and debris from falling inside the eyewash heads and becoming projectiles when the unit is turned on.
  • Test the emergency shower and eyewash weekly, and before performing high-risk tasks.
  • Train all workers to use the emergency shower and eyewash stations.
  • Consider installing a modesty curtain.
  • Don’t use a residential shower stall as an emergency shower. Residential shower stalls do not meet the ANSI standard for adequate flow of flushing fluid.

Remember, emergency showers and eyewashes are not a substitute for safe work practices. If there is a possibility of a chemical splash, you must use proper handling techniques. Personal protective equipment such as face shields, goggles, gloves, proper footwear and aprons may be required

Source: WorkSafeNB’s Emergency Showers and Eyewash Stations