How Often Should You Test Your Eyewash Stations and Showers?
It goes without saying that your shower station and eye wash stations are two of the most important pieces of equipment in any lab. What’s more, is making sure that those stations are remaining functional and clean. Ensuring that these two tools are readily available in any lab, especially in science classrooms, requires frequent checks, consideration, and diligence. Learn more below about how to manage these two tools and keep them safe for use in your classroom.
How to Keep Your Eyewash and Shower Stations Clean
It’s important to understand that even in schools that have strong programs for managing chemical inventories, they are often uninformed about how to properly react to a potentially hazardous or dangerous situation when handling chemicals, and knowing how to properly care for these emergency systems can be the difference between a serious situation and a well-managed one. Without this knowledge, your school could be held liable for any injury sustained. Cleaning your eye wash station and shower station frequently is of the utmost importance.
So, how often should they be cleaned? The answer is weekly. You see, ensuring that you check at the beginning of each week not only ensures that the equipment works at all, but it ensures that these stations remain clean. Without activating, there could be stagnant water and that creates a breeding ground for bacteria, making this safety station dirty and therefore, unsafe. It’s also important to make sure that you’re meeting OSHA standards. Here’s what that standard is when it comes to the safety of eye wash stations and shower stations.
OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.151 (C) words it simply: “Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.”
What should you take away from this definition? That it’s actually more vague than it is defined. You see, the keyword here is “suitable facility” making the standard subjective to the OSHA agent evaluating the area.
Essentially, you want to ensure that there is clean water being emitted from these tools so that whoever is using them is able to clean off whatever chemicals they have been exposed to. You can do this by “activating,” the shower or wash station once a week, which allows you to temper the water to the standard of “tepid water,” which is considered a temperature above 60 degrees and below 100 degrees.
In addition to these standards, schools are required to have the proper location for the shower and eyewash station. The code states the following:
“The safety equipment should be accessible within 10 seconds, and the path to it should be free of obstructions since the eyes are most often affected in an incident.”
How to Ensure Your Lab is Up to Code
If you’re not sure if your laboratory is up to OSHA safety standards don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts here at Longo Labs. We can schedule a consultation to help ensure that your lab is as safe as possible and answer any other questions you may have.
Click here or give us a call at (800) 635-6646