What is a Weekly Eyewash Station Inspection?
In compliance with the regulations made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA), an eyewash station is required to be installed in places where hazardous material could come into contact with a person’s eye. Whether you live in the United States, Canada, Australia, or other parts of the world, each government has made provisions to ensure the safety of laboratory or other employees by installing eyewash fixtures that flush out the eye if the need presents itself.
To further ensure that these safety stations consistently comply with the legal requirements, a weekly eyewash inspection is recommended aside from the regular and annual inspections. This way, you can ensure that the fixture is up to date and ready for any emergency that might arise.
Eyewash stations are subject to a weekly bump test to check for proper operation. Safety-Inspectors of eyewash stations should test the length of time it takes to flush the lines of stagnant water. Normally, that could take between 10 seconds and 3 minutes, depending on the type of eyewash station. Such a test is essential, since it prevents the build-up of mineral deposits and rust, as well as the growth of microorganisms.
In this article you will learn:
Why, How and When to Install an Eyewash Station
Every workplace can benefit from an eyewash station because it serves as a precautionary first-aid measure. However, safety does not begin and end in having the right safety equipment. Organizations can only have a robust and dynamic safety program if employers ensure (by means of appointing a safety officer, for example) that health and safety controls and protocols are in place and compliance requirements are met.
To determine whether your workplace needs an eyewash station or whether you need to upgrade an existing one, here are a few items to consider:
- Conduct an eye injury risk assessment to help you identify the hazards, chemicals, and work processes that are most likely to put workers at risk of an eye injury. If you know about potential hazards, it is easier to plan to prevent them.
- Have appropriate risk control and preventive measures in place, such as PPEs and isolation devices. You must ensure that you have Safe Work Procedures (SWPs) that document every task that exposes workers to a potential eye injury.
- Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, remove and reduce any identified eye hazards.
Aside from the elements listed above, you also need to check if there are recent changes in the workplace that call for the installation of emergency decontamination and eyewash facilities. These might include:
New Hazardous Substances
Every time new chemicals or dangerous goods enter the workplace, existing decontamination protocols and equipment need evaluation. Your Material Safety Data Sheets contain hazard class information and first aid recommendations that you should update regularly as necessary.
Increase in Production Output
As your business expands, so do the hazards and risks in your workplace. This includes the variety and quantity of dangerous materials and chemicals: Workers might be exposed to these chemicals for extended periods, or there could be areas or equipment that might put workers at risk of an eye injury.
The number of employees in the workplace also affects your safety systems. If your manpower continues to expand, one eyewash station might not be enough to accommodate everyone and you should consider adding another one or more, perhaps in a different location.
If renovation or construction work is being done in the workplace, eye risks also increase. Flying debris, dust, and other airborne contaminants are possible eye hazards. Being aware of these risks helps you to plan and calculate for them.
New Equipment and Machinery
If new equipment or machinery is introduced, new risks and hazards also come with it. You should need to assess what these hazards and risks are so you can plan an appropriate safety control.
Different Types of Eyewash Units
After you determine that your workplace needs an eyewash station or you need to upgrade the existing one, it is important to choose the right type of eyewash unit that matches your and your workers health and safety needs. Eyewash stations come in different styles and sizes and are designed to meet different needs or areas:
- Personal Emergency Eyewash Station
These are quick-access bottle units that can be mounted on a wall and do not require plumbing. They can be installed almost anywhere to make sure workers can access it within 10 seconds if an accident or injury occurs. It is fitted with two eyewash streams so both eyes can be treated simultaneously.
- Tap Mounted Eyewash
These are innovative eyewash units that convert a standard faucet into an eyewash unit. Portable Gravity-Fed Eyewash Unit As the name suggests, its design offers gravity-fed flush so plumbing or water supply is not needed. It is ideal for large factories and warehouses where access to plumbed eyewash units is limited.
- Floor or Wall Mounted Eyewash Station
This type of station includes a face wash facility as well as a mount to floor or plumbing outlets. These are more permanent, quick access solutions that protect workers from eye contamination in industrial, laboratory, and manufacturing workplaces.
Perform Weekly Eyewash Station Inspections With a Digital Checklist
With Lumiform’s audit app you can easily perform a multitude of safety and quality inspections on the go from your smartphone or tablet – online or offline. Create checklists for your Safety Officers to easily inspect eyewash stations and effortlessly reduce errors and threats in the workplace. Create weekly reminders within the Lumiform ap to ensure regular checks.
- Lumiform’s flexible form builder helps you convert any eyewash inspection checklist into a digital format within minutes – and it allows you to update any list easily, paper-free and with a small error margin.
- Lumiform offers via more than 10,000 ready-made inspection templates to choose from, so that you can quickly and safely go digital.
- With the easy-to-use mobile app your health and safety inspectors can perform eyewash station checks with ease and save time.
- All audit results are automatically summarised in a report and can be sent to responsible personnel on-the-fly.
- Comprehensive and automated analyses help you uncover threats and errors fast and effectively and thus allow you to concentrate on improving processes continuously and protect your team.
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