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  • Writer's pictureNiall Kelly

A guide to Safety Showers for Waste Water Treatment Plants in Ireland



Waste Water Treatment Plants are the backbone of infrastructure supporting businesses and communities alike. Naturally, many chemicals are used in the process, such as chloramine and chlorine. And while these are used to make the water safe, they can in themselves present a hazard to workers involved in their handling. Therefore, you must have the correct PPE and safety equipment to mitigate against such hazards should they arise. Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units are prime examples of the protective equipment required by Waste Water Treatment facilities, along with safety goggles, respiratory equipment, gloves, and protective suits, to name but a few PPE items.


What risks do Waster Water Treatment workers face from Chlorine?


In its natural state, chlorine poses significant hazards due to its high toxicity and corrosiveness. When in a liquefied state, it can cause rapid skin chilling or freezing upon contact, resulting in initial sensations like numbness, tingling, and itching, which can escalate into a severe burning sensation capable of causing blisters and potential infections. To mitigate against these risks, it is strongly recommended to don safety goggles and protective clothing and to have readily accessible Safety Shower and Eye Wash Units to address any contact or splashing incidents.


What are the standards that Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units need to meet?


EN and ANSI standards stipulate that Eye Wash Units and Safety Showers need to be located within 10 seconds reach of a potential hazard (and that employees are aware of said location). They should be able to supply at least a 15-minute flow of tepid water (15-37c). This is to ensure a thorough contamination It is also required that all employees are trained in the correct use of the equipment.


What’s the best Safety Shower unit for our Waste Water Treatment Facility?


While every location differs and some may have additional requirements, the Hughes 1500L Emergency Tank Shower and Eye Wash Unit is a good starting point. It meets the requirement to supply tepid water at a rate of 76L per minute for up to 15 minutes. It can be self-contained or plumbed into the main water supply, for it has a 1500L storage tank. An immersion-heated model is also available for use in colder conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that you need to consider when choosing a Safety Shower or Eye Wash Unit for your Waste Water Treatment Facility.


Hughes Safety Shower Units generally come in galvanised or stainless steel versions, and the latter is often used in Waste Water Treatment plants as it has anti-corrosion properties. Given that Waste Water Treatment facilities are often remote, self-contained units (such as the Hughes 1500L) are ideal for providing safe, potable water to a worker exposed to chemical hazards in the facility.


As mentioned, one of the requirements of the EN and ANSI standards for Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units is that a tepid water temperature is maintained. As such, an immersion-heated safety shower is recommended for colder conditions, while cooling options are also available should the Safety Shower be located in a warmer environment.


Our team at Gaslines Ltd. has been supplying Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units to Waste Water Treatment Plants in Ireland for decades. These include Fixed Safety Shower Units, Portable Safety Shower Units, and Mobile Safety Shower Units (for hire or for purchase). If you’d like to know more, or have any questions not answered in this article, just give us a call at 0402 32116 or email sales@mahealy.ie. In addition, we can also supply PPE clothing such as protective suits, respiratory equipment, gloves, safety footwear, and safety gloves through our sister company, www.mahealy.ie.

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