Emergency showers and eyewash stations provide on-the-spot decontamination. They allow workers to flush away hazardous substances that can cause injury.
Employers must install emergency eyewash or shower stations when there is a risk that a worker’s eyes or skin could come in contact with hazardous substances. Currently, all emergency showers and eyewash fountains must comply with ANSI standard ANSI Z358.1-1990, “American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment”. Proposed changes to the regulation will cite the more recent ANSI Standard Z358.1. Copies of either edition of the standard can be purchased at the ANSI webstore.
There are different types of emergency eyewash and safety showers. Some are stand-alone systems of emergency eyewash and shower stations, some are combination systems, most are hooked up to plumbing and some are portable units that can be transported to isolated locations where installing a plumbed in unit is impractical. Portable units are beneficial on construction and other isolated work sites. It’s important that the water be kept at a comfortable temperature. The ANSI standard provides guidance on this.
Emergency Eyewash Station
Inflatable Decontamination Shower
The sooner the flushing starts, the better the chances are of eye and skin recovery. The flushing should start as soon as possible but at least within 10 seconds of the chemical splash to minimize tissue damage. If the injured worker is taken directly to the hospital for first aid without flushing at the worksite, the chemical may have time to cause permanent eye or skin damage.
As an employer you must:
Eye / Face Wash
As an employer you should also ensure the following best practices:
General Regulation - Occupational Health and Safety Act
N.B. Reg. 91-191
Part II SANITATION AND ACCOMMODATION
Section 11 Emergency Eyewash and Shower
11. (1) Where an employee's skin or eyes may be exposed to contamination from materials at a place of employment, an employer shall provide emergency showers or eyewash fountains in the area where the contamination may occur.
(2) An employer shall ensure that an emergency shower or eyewash fountain provided under subsection (1) complies with the requirements of ANSI standard ANSI Z358.1-1990, "American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment".
[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, ss. 3, 4]
12. - 13. Repealed. [N.B. Reg. 2004-130, s. 15]