Benefits of Eyewash Stations
The eyes are among the most delicate organs of the body, and they are damaged very easily. In cases of chemical splashes or other harmful materials, taking quick action can greatly reduce injury, however. Flushing the eyes is usually the most effective response immediately after accidents like this occur. This is why safety equipment in many businesses includes an emergency eyewash station. These devices can be either pedestal or wall-mounted stations equipped with a basin and eye irrigation nozzles. The stations are wisely designed to allow the user to bend over the basin and hold the eyes open as fluid gently flushes the eyes. Some stations use sterile eyewash fluid while others use potable water.
Who should have an eyewash station?
Many kinds of companies should have this type of safety equipment. Any workers that may be exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals should have access to eyewash stations. Examples of businesses that need these include factories and warehouses that produce or handle materials that would require a hazmat label for shipping. These materials include pesticides, fuel, bleach, paint and any other chemical that could harm the eyes. The danger is not limited to liquids. Dust and other dry materials may scratch the eyes or may contain harmful chemicals.
How can eyewash stations help?
In the moments following contact with irritants or other hazardous materials, flushing the eyes can be vital. In the worst-case scenarios, eyewash stations may mean the difference between saving eyesight and blindness. Flushing the eyes dilutes chemicals and assists in removing debris – this is the recommended protocol after exposure to many different kinds of chemicals. Even if a business requires workers to wear safety glasses, the protective eye wear is not sufficient to prevent all eye-related accidents.
Placement and maintanence
Eyewash stations should be placed close to any workstation where workers may be exposed to chemicals or other eye irritants. All employees should know where eyewash stations are and how to operate them. The area around the station should be clear of any obstruction that could delay someone accessing the eyewash. Avoid storing supplies, boxes, chairs, tables, equipment or other items nearby. Seconds count in an eye emergency and employees must be able to access the station quickly and easily. In addition, the eyewash equipment should be tested weekly and kept clean. Models that use a flushing solution will need to have this replenished periodically.