Self contained safety showers are an essential part of emergency tools. They are specially designed for giving quick relief from injury resulting from accidents. It can be a chemical exposure or other dangerous substances. At workplaces emergency shower rules as referred to as nödduschar regler in Swedish must be followed. In laboratories and industrial settings safety should be a first priority. As there are great chances of exposure to chemicals or any other hazardous substances.
A quick decontamination is necessary to ensure the minimal outcomes when an accident occurs. The self contained safety showers are one the innovative emergency equipment in such situations. They have revolutionized the emergency response in such circumstances.
This blog we’ll explore the self contained safety showers, its components, features, required specifications, user guidelines, and importance for maintaining a safe environment.
What is a self contained safety shower?
A self-contained safety shower is one of the emergency tools for safety purposes. It is especially designed to quickly decontaminate the persons in emergency conditions like exposure to chemicals or any hazardous materials.
Self-contained showers are different from traditional emergency showers. They have their own integrated water supply, unlike traditional ones with fixed water supply. This feature makes them versatile and more effective in isolated or off-grid workspaces.
Let’s explore their main characteristics and components which makes them very crucial emergency equipment.
Components of a self contained safety shower
- Water reservoir
The fundamental component of self continued safety showers is their water reservoir. The size of the water reservoir is different depending on the unit size. However, they are designed to provide enough water for the required time of decontamination.
- Showerhead and eyewash stations
The main components of water delivery are the eyewash station and shower head. Shower head work to drench the water reservoir, and eyewash stations only focus on washing the eyes for decontamination.
- Activation mechanism
You can activate the shower using a pressing button or by pulling a lever. This swift mechanism allows the decontamination process to begin and prevent serious damage to the eyes.
- Plumbed eyewash
Traditionally, self contained showers have integrated eyewash stations. In addition, some showers have a piped eyewash station that is designed to provide continuous water flushing. They are connected to a fixed water supply or a reservoir.
- Drainage system
In order to prevent contamination of the workplace an effective drainage system is crucial. The drainage system guarantees the collection of contaminated water disposing of it safely.
Importance in maintaining a safe working environment
Self contained showers are crucial for the swift decontamination of employees who become the victims of accidents. These shower facilities are essential in areas like chemical units and laboratories. Similarly the use of these showers is valuable at construction sites, in case of workers’ exposure to hazardous substances and chemicals. Because the construction sites don’t have fixed or continuous water supply.
The industries in remote locations such as oil exploration or mining areas are dependable on self contained safety showers. As they have no fixed water supply these showers help in quick response in emergencies. Furthermore, presence of self-contained safety showers in place indicates the dedication to safety and emergency preparedness. That is reassuring the safety for employees and regulatory bodies as well.
What specifications should the self contained safety showers Meet?
Self contained safety showers must adhere to the specifications for their effectiveness in emergency scenarios. These specifications include performance and shower design. Below are some main specifications to take into account:
Water capacity is a very important factor to be considered. There should be a sufficient amount of water for a continuous water flow. The recommended time for water flow is 15 minutes for washing eyes. Along with water capacity, temperature is vital. The temperature of water must be between 60°F (16°C) and 100°F (38°C) to avoid any thermal shock. There should be an integrated thermostatic valve to maintain temperature at required degree.
The recommended flow rate for emergency showers is around 0.4 gallons or 1.5 liters per minute for eyewash stations. Similarly 20 gallons or 75.7 liters for the shower head. Self contained safety showers can meet the similar flow rate and temperature using a piped eyewash station.
Learn about emergency showers rules also called Hätäsuihku määräykset in Finnish.
The activation mechanism for emergency showers should be simple and easily locatable. Upon activation it should provide swift water flow and easily reset for next use. Additionally, safety showers must be made of corrosive resistant and durable materials. As they will come into contact with corrosive materials or chemicals. Similarly showers should be easily locatable to employees. Also, they should be highly visible with proper labels.
Access to the shower must be clear and safe. For this purpose a prosperous drainage system is necessary. The drainage system avoids the accumulation of water around the shower. The drainage system must be in compliance with standards. Emergency showers should be according to the ANSI Z358.1-2014 safety standards and regulations. This will guarantee to meet the performance standard set in industry.
Clear guidelines should be given by manufacturers for replacing the components and consumables. Also, a detailed instruction should be given for inspection schedules or maintenance. In addition, an emergency communication option integrated with a safety shower is beneficial in emergencies to inform others in the building.
Guidelines for using self contained safety showers
To ensure the effective use of self contained showers it is important to have clear guidelines. Below are few crucial guidelines for using self-contained safety showers:
- These showers should be highly visible and accessible. All the employees should be aware of the safety shower location and its use.
- Every employee should be trained to operate the safety showers. Industry should arrange training sessions for employees to be able to activate and use these showers.
- Wearing personal protective equipment is good for safety purposes. All the employees should be asked to wear the personal protective equipment when handling the chemicals or hazardous materials.
- Eyewash stations must be used where chances of eye exposure are high. Flush your eyes for a recommended time in case of emergency and make sure water rinses the affected area thoroughly.
- When the exposure is to clothes and skin, use a full body shower head. Thoroughly rinse the affected area by removing the contaminated clothes.
- To avoid any further injury use a controlled water flow. The pressure of water should be as per recommendation.
- When safety showers are used, go for a medical check immediately. Because some substances can cause a delayed reaction. To avoid such an incident, medical evaluation is essential after using emergency showers.
- After the medical evaluation workspace safety officer should be informed about the accident to make further safety steps. Documentation should be done for further analysis and references.
- After using the shower the consumable substances must be replaced such as eye wash solution or other agents. This should be done according to the manufacturer safety guidelines.
- Regularly conduct safety reviews to assess that employees are aware of use of safety measurements and guidelines.
- Emergency incidents could be traumatic to the workers. Counseling and support should be given to employees after the emergency accidents. Providing assistance to workers is good for their well-being.
- Emergency response process should be reviewed and improved continuously. Advanced self contained safety showers should be placed in compliance with standards.
Following the above guidelines, industries can improve the safety for workers. Also, ensures that self contained safety showers are effectively being used.
Self contained safety showers are valuable and innovative additions at the workplaces where chemicals and other hazards are handled. They help to maintain a safe working environment due to their features like portability, swift response, and versatile design.
Using these safety equipment ensures to meet the rules and regulations. Also, ensures the safety of workers in workspaces. With advancement in technology, the expectation is that these showers will become much more effective and beneficial for the safety of any industry or other working area.