An emergency safety shower is a must-have piece of kit for the laboratory or other work environment that has the potential to put workers at risk of hazardous substances. They are used in addition to normal safety precautions, such as face shields and goggles. In the laboratory there is always the risk of chemical exposure due to knocked or dropped containers.
The best course of action to take to prevent serious injury is to use the emergency safety shower for on-the-spot decontamination. This treatment is most effective if used within the 10 to 15 seconds of the initial exposure. Plus, they can also be used as a useful tool to flush contaminants off clothing or effectively put out clothing fires.
Here are a few of the popular types of emergency safety showers:
The ceiling shower is a permanent fixture and is typically located in an overhead position and easily activated using a lever or chain. It is built to rapidly direct a large volume of water directly on a person’s head and body after coming into contact with a harmful substance.
The floor-mounted unit is designed to give all-round treatment with the ability to not only act as a safety shower, but also as a drench hose and eye-wash. This type of system is particularly useful in the laboratory that works with a wide range of hazardous substances.
The deck mounted unit is built to conveniently attach to a lab beach and operates by squeezing a handle to active the flow of water. This is one of the most practical choices for spot-washing.
The drench hoses is a further choice for spot-washing, but gives more flexibility compared to the deck mounted units. The hose is easy to direct at the person that is unconscious or unable to stand or even to quick wash beneath clothing before it can be removed. Also, with the correct pressure, the drench hoses can also function as an eye/face washing unit.
Using eye-wash stations
In addition to the shower units to drench the head and body in general, there are also the stand-along eye-wash stations. It isn’t practical to use the standard emergency safety shower to flush the eyes because of the high pressure, which could easily cause damage to the eyes. Many of the eye-wash units direct a constant flow of water and leave the hands free to help pin the eyelids open.