Page 44 - OHS, May 2020
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Safeguarding Employees with Dependable Eye/Face Washes and Safety Showers
The need for sufficient and properly working emergency eyewash and shower devices in workplaces is real.
Many work sites and facilities have emer- gency showers and eye/face wash fix- tures. However, while the fixtures may be installed at a work site, that doesn’t
always mean a facility and its workers are automati- cally protected with this equipment. Sometimes the equipment is outdated, not in working order, not located near all hazards, unclean, unable to dispense tepid water and/or not in compliance with ANSI/ ISEA Z358.1–2014.
The need for sufficient and properly working emer- gency eyewash and shower devices in workplaces is real and pervasive. According to the United States Bu- reau of Labor Statistics, Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away from Work (2014):
■ 13,840 workers were afflicted by chemical ex- posures in 2014
■ 46,000 workers experienced exposure to harm- 40 Occupational Health & Safety | MAY 2020
ful substances or environments
■ 23,000-plus workers suffered injuries to eyes Therefore, it’s important to keep up-to-date on
placement, maintenance, the newest trends and tech- nologies and evaluate whether your equipment is ef- fectively optimizing the best protection for your em- ployees. Additionally, remember that all equipment must deliver an uninterrupted, 15-minute supply of tepid water, per ANSI/ISEA requirements.
Evaluating and Re-evaluating Job Sites
for Equipment Placement
Job site evaluations should not be a one-time event— as with training, testing and maintenance of emer- gency fixtures. Since work environments are dynamic and change over time, assessments should be con- ducted annually to ensure the proper type, quantity and location of emergency fixtures. Some emergency

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