Page 46 - OHS, May 2020
P. 46

that the hot water could exacerbate a chemical interaction with the eyes and skin. Whenever possible, consult a physician to de- termine the recommended temperature based on specific types hazardous chemicals or material.
Ensuring the Best Washdown Coverage
When harmful contaminants reach the delicate eye area, and ex- tend to the outer portions of the face, or contact the body, every second counts. Therefore, evaluating the amount of total face and body coverage provided by the eye/face wash and/or shower is key. The newest generation of emergency fixtures is designed to deliver a more uniform and complete spray pattern distribution. Older shower designs push the flow of water to the outer rim of the show- erhead, creating a hollow space in the center of the pattern that can miss affected areas.
Using the latest technology in fluid dynamics, the new shower designs work in tandem with a pressure regulated flow control and the spinning motion of water, which creates an optimal spray pattern to rinse off the injured as quickly and thoroughly as pos- sible. The contoured shape combined with the spinning water funnels the water into a concentrated, yet gentle, deluge to en- sure the most effective flush available. Some newer showerheads are also more compact in appearance, in an effort to reduce its surface area—and likelihood of impact—in busy and cloistered industrial environments.
Fixtures that flush the eye and face have gone through a simi- lar transformation. The flow that passes through eye and eye/face washes was once controlled by flow controls that expand and con- tract with the ebb and flow of the water pressure. Modern eye and eye/face washes utilize a much more accurate method to maintain the flow of water over varied pressures. These flow controls utilize an o-ring that is pushed into position and squeezes off the flow based on the pressure supplied to the fixture, allowing for minimal variance across a wide range of pressure.
Due to advances in fluid dynamics technology, newer eye/face washes cover 85 percent of the user’s face, which is 20 percent more than other designs.
Supporting Cleanliness and Hygiene
Coming off a tough flu season complicated by the new coronavi- rus, it’s important to be vigilant about washing hands as well as keeping an eye/face wash system clean and bacteria-free. Unfortu- nately, due to stagnant water left from false activations, tampering and other misuse by workers, sometimes eye/face washes succumb to contamination. While facility managers can avoid these issues by installing an eyewash alarm system, newer eyewash designs come equipped with either plastic or stainless-steel dust covers that shield the entire bowl.
Some eyewash systems use a sturdy, plastic dust cover that is see-through and hinged. The see-through plastic allows for quick and easy visual inspection, and the hinging mechanism provides a more secure hold. The covers open as the fixture is activated and may be installed on barrier-free fixtures.
On the topic of ensuring clean and safe water, one of the newer eye/face wash models comes equipped with a self-draining design that eliminates any settled water in the system. This model also in- corporates separate supply and waste pipes to prevent cross-con-
tamination from the clean inlet and wastewater.
Clearly, eye/face wash and drench shower manufacturers offer
a wide selection of products to protect workers and, in recent years, have advanced the category substantially with new products and concepts. Still, some organizations may opt to maintain or upgrade their existing equipment, as opposed to investing in new products. In this case, it’s a good idea to ask your manufacturer to provide support and expertise in selecting the appropriate parts to retrofit, upgrade or repair their existing systems. Those that successfully provide support will have knowledgeable customer service and technical service personnel, online parts breakdowns of product, and clear and detailed instructions.
When selecting a safety fixture manufacturer to investigate new products and technologies, be sure that the manufacturer has a strong distribution network to provide the support and parts. The more easily one can identify and access replacement parts, the higher the probability the fixtures will be maintained and ready for use during an emergency.
Ryan Pfund is Senior Product Manager, Emergency Fixtures, for Bradley Corporation of Menomonee Falls, Wis., a USGBC & ISEA member and manufacturer of locker room products, plumbing fix- tures, washroom accessories, partitions, emergency fixtures and tankless water heaters.
42 Occupational Health & Safety | MAY 2020

   44   45   46   47   48