How to Use an Emergency Eyewash Station
This step-by-step guide teaches how to use an emergency eyewash station. Find out the types available, where to locate them and how to check and maintain them.
Workplace hazards such as flying debris and hazardous chemicals can cause temporary or permanent vision loss. This is where emergency eyewash stations come in. Emergency eyewash stations are critical safety equipment that can provide fast relief from any potential chemical or other eye irritants. They provide quick and easy water access in case of chemical splashes, dust particles or other contaminants entering the eyes. Make sure that you know how to use an emergency eyewash station in case of an emergency. It may save you, your employee or your co-worker from a serious eye injury or loss of vision.
What You Need to Know About Emergency Eyewash Stations
Emergency eyewash facilities provide immediate relief for any person whose eyes have been exposed to a hazardous material. It delivers a steady stream of water or saline solution that flushes away and dilutes contaminants from the eyes.
Some of the things you need to consider when installing an emergency eye station in your business include:
Emergency eyewash stations should be easily accessible from any work area where hazardous materials may come into contact with the eyes. If possible, have two or more separate units in case of multiple casualties.
The Types of Eyewash Stations
Types of eyewash stations include:
Wall-mounted: Wall-mounted eyewash stations are installed directly onto a wall. They typically require plumbing, so they must be professionally installed and maintained.
- Free-standing: These units are standalone and require no plumbing. Many are operated by hand or foot, making them easy to use in an emergency. These are ideal for temporary worksites or use in areas where pipes may freeze.
- Combination shower eyewash unit: Combination shower eyewash units can be used in emergencies where multiple parts of the body have been exposed to hazardous material. These emergency showers provide both an eye wash and a full body shower, making them the most comprehensive type of emergency eyewash station.
- Portable eyewash bottles: While not technically an eyewash station, portable eyewash bottles are an excellent option for mobile worksites or as a backup. They are easy to transport to any location and provide quick relief from hazardous materials.
Step-By-Step Guide on How to Use Eyewash Stations
If you ever need an emergency eyewash station, it’s essential to know how to use it properly:
Activate the Unit
Most stations are activated by pulling a lever or pressing a button. Familiarise yourself with the activation process before any potential accidents occur.
Flush Out Your Eyes
Continue flushing out your eyes with your eyelids open for at least 15 minutes straight using lukewarm water from the eyewash station. This will help flush out any contaminants and reduce irritation and inflammation.
Take Out Your Contacts
Remove contact lenses as soon as possible after activating the eyewash station. Contacts can trap irritants and cause further damage if not removed quickly enough.
Seek Medical Help
A doctor can provide more specialised treatment. Seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent permanent tissue damage to your vision. Delaying treatment could exacerbate the problem.
Check and Maintain Emergency Eyewash Station
Just having an emergency eyewash station isn’t enough. Employers must also ensure that the station is checked and maintained regularly to ensure it’s in good working order in an emergency.
Check the following:
- Water supply disruptions
- Proper installation and functioning of parts
- Any signs of damage, such as cracks or leaks
- No debris is blocking the water flow
If you notice any damaged or malfunctioning parts, including hoses and nozzles, replace them immediately and keep spare parts on hand. Ensure that your employees know the location and how to use an emergency eyewash station. This knowledge could be life-saving.
Check Our Range of Quality Emergency Eyewash Stations
Ecospill is committed to providing the best in emergency eyewash products. Whether you’re looking for an all-in-one shower and eyewash combination, a wall-mounted option, or a portable unit for maximum versatility, we have you covered. We offer units from industry-leading brands such as Enware, Speakman, and Pratt. With our high-quality range of emergency eyewash stations, you can trust that the safety of your employees is guaranteed every time. Learn more about our eyewash stations today.