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Points to consider when choosing an emergency safety shower or face/eyewash unit for your worksite.

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Gaslines Ltd. has been hiring and selling emergency safety showers and eye/facewash units across Ireland for many years. In work environments where there is a risk of being exposed to dangerous chemicals, they are a vital piece of protective equipment to have onsite. We often get questions from Safety Managers, Procurement Managers, etc. asking how they should go about choosing a safety shower or eye/face wash unit for their worksite. We’ve put together this short article to cover some of the important factors to consider.

Risk Assessments are crucial when deciding on the type of emergency safety shower and/or eyewash unit for your worksite.

It should go without saying, but Risk Assessments are critical to controlling hazards in all work environments. By conducting these, you will get a better understanding of the hazards involved, and the equipment you’ll need to mitigate the risk, including specification, quantity, and location. Risk Assessments should be thorough, considering all tasks (including those that may not seem like obvious risks). It’s not enough to do them as a one-off and forget about them, Risk Assessments should be updated regularly.

Have you considered the standards for emergency safety showers and eyewash units?

When deciding on what type of emergency safety shower or eyewash unit to procure for your worksite, you should always consult the relevant standards: EN15154 Parts 2 and 5 and ANSI Z.358.1-2014 (the latter is internationally recognised) cover the performance requirements for these. These cover the performance, installation, maintenance, testing, use and training of safety showers and eyewash units, so it’s very important to read up on these as part of the procurement process.

Always read the Safety Datasheet (SDS) when deciding on the type of emergency safety shower and/or eye/facewash unit.

When making a decision on the choice of emergency safety shower and/or eye/face wash unit for your worksite, it is extremely important to thoroughly read the safety datasheet (SDS). This will give details on what decontamination procedures are necessary should an accident or incident occur where somebody is exposed to dangerous chemicals. These requirements will vary from chemical to chemical and include details such as what the water temperature is necessary and what the duration should be.

Does the site already have standards for emergency safety showers and/or eyewash units?

Perhaps your site already has a specific company standard for emergency safety showers and/or eyewash units? Is there a site standard already in place? These will of course need to be adhered to.

Who will be using the safety showers, and what will they be wearing?

When deciding on the type of safety shower and/or eyewash unit required, it is important to assess which employees may need to use them, and what type of PPE and workwear they are wearing. This will factor into the type of unit required. A PPE decontamination shower unit protects both the wearer and the PPE itself (which can save you from having to reorder costly PPE/workwear).

Location of your emergency shower and/or eyewash unit.

Location is a very important factor to consider when deciding on what type of safety shower and/or eyewash unit you require for your worksite. Questions to consider include:

  • Is there a reliable (and potable?) water supply at the hazard’s location?

  • Does the water supply have sufficient pressure?

  • Is there sufficient drainage to contain contaminated water?

  • Is the shower/eyewash unit going to be situated in an explosive area?

  • Have you taken into account electrical requirements, like ATEX and ICECx?

  • What is the ambient temperature of the hazard’s location?

Does the emergency safety shower and/or eyewash unit need to be fixed or mobile?

It’s worth considering how permanent a fixture you’ll need the eye/facewash unit and/or emergency safety shower to be. Do your employees frequently move locations? If so a mobile safety shower unit may be best suited. For a more permanent location, a fixed plumbed-in unit may be required.

We hope that this article has been of use in giving some insight into the factors to consider when deciding on a type of emergency safety shower and/or eyewash unit. It might seem like a daunting task, so do feel free to get in touch with us by email and we’ll be happy to go through the requirements with you. We have years of experience in the field and are authorised agents for Hughes Safety Showers in Ireland. You can also phone us on 0402 32116.

For more information on emergency safety showers and face/eye wash units, please contact us:

Phone 0402 32116

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