An eyewash station is a requirement in workplaces where workers are exposed to hazards that might injure their eyes. Using an eyewash station inspection will help employers and employees alike to eliminate those hazards that could cause eye injuries and accidents and ensure that the eyewash units are in perfect working order.
It is important to regularly check your eyewash stations in order to keep your employees safe and healthy. However, once a year, it is time for a big inspection that ensures the maintenance of your safety equipment in line with OSHA requirements.
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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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.