All laboratories and workplaces where hazardous chemicals are present will be equipped with an emergency eyewash and shower station.
The eyewash and emergency shower are used to flush away harmful or corrosive chemicals that contact the eyes and skin, respectively.
This video will demonstrate the proper use and maintenance of the emergency eyewash and shower and discuss related safety measures.
Prior to handling any chemicals, refer to their safety data sheets to gain familiarity with any hazards associated with exposure. Inform the laboratory manager and the Environmental Health and Safety Office of the materials and procedures in use.
To reduce the risk of chemical exposure, wear protective clothing, such as lab coats, goggles, and gloves.
Handle hazardous chemicals under fume hoods to additionally reduce the chance of inhalation.
Emergency eyewash stations use water to flush hazardous or corrosive materials from the eyes in case of exposure.
Before working with hazardous chemicals, ensure there are no obstructions, stairs, or doors between the workspace and the eyewash. Set up the workspace on the same floor, so that the eyewash can be reached in under 10 s.
In case of exposure to a harmful or unknown substance, go to the eyewash immediately. Time is critical, since the greatest damage tends to occur in the first few seconds of exposure. Do not stop to clean spills or remove contact lenses.
Activate the eyewash lever. This starts the flow of the water.
Finally, while holding eyelids open, submerge eyes into the stream. Roll them, to allow thorough flushing. Remove contact lenses while the eyes are being flushed. Wash for at least 15 min, and then seek medical attention.
Emergency showers wash hazardous or corrosive materials from the skin.
As in the case of the eyewash, the path from the workspace to the shower should be free of obstructions, doors, or stairs. It should take no more than 10 s to travel from the workspace to the shower.
If the skin is exposed to a harmful or unknown substance, go to the shower immediately. Again, the greatest damage from contamination tends to occur in the first few seconds of exposure. Do not stop to clean spills.
Quickly remove any contaminated clothes, shoes, or other attire. Do not hesitate or feel bashful, clothing can hold the compounds to the skin, further causing damage. Take care that contaminated clothes do not contact unexposed parts of your body. If necessary, cut the clothes off.
Finally, pull the shower lever to start the flow of water. This starts the flow of the water. Flush the affected area for at least 15 min, and then seek medical attention.
To ensure safe operation, the eyewash and shower should adhere to the following specifications.
Both use potable water at 60 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Both should take at most 1 s to turn on, and should remain flowing until the user turns it off. The eyewash should maintain a flowrate of 0.4 gallons per min for at least 15 min, and the shower, 20 gallons per min for at least 15 min.
The shower should produce a water column between 82 and 96 inches tall with a diameter of at least 20 inches at a height of 60 inches. If the shower has an enclosure, the enclosure must be at least 34 inches in diameter.
The eyewash and shower should be inspected by lab technicians weekly, by running them for 3 min and maintaining results in a logbook. In addition, it should be inspected annually by an Environmental Health and Safety Officer.
You've just watched JoVE's introduction to Emergency Eyewash and Shower Stations. You should now understand relevant safety measures, the operating procedures for the eyewash and shower, and their correct specifications and maintenance. Thanks for watching!