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  • Writer's pictureNiall Kelly

Installing a Safety Shower—what Safety Officers and Facility Managers need to Consider

safety shower in a work site

Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units are important pieces of PPE that can save workers from severe injuries, sight loss, and even death. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that Safety Officers and Facility Managers put due consideration into making sure they are located correctly and optimised for ease of access in the event of an emergency. Let’s take a look at some of the key factors that should be considered when installing a Safety Shower or Eye Wash Unit.

Make sure the Safety Shower is readily accessible

It is crucial that Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units are positioned in a location that can be readily accessed by employees exposed to harmful chemicals or burns—the quicker your employees can access it, the higher the chance of reducing injuries. ANSI and EN standards stipulate that Safety Showers are within 20m of a hazard, and can be reached within 10 seconds. If a Safety Shower is positioned further than this it’s simply too far to be compliant.

Visibility is important when it comes to locating Safety Showers

In an emergency situation, every second counts—delays in finding a Safety Shower can have dire consequences for anyone exposed to harmful substances. Therefore, Safety Showers should be clearly visible and identifiable to workers. Lighting can be used to aid this.

Workers should know where the Safety Showers/Eye Wash Units are located.

Just like a fire exit, all employees and visitors in your worksite should be made aware of where the Safety Showers and/or Eye Wash Units are located. This needs to be an integral part of all site inductions and training briefs for your workplace. Safety Officers should ensure that workers are refreshed on this knowledge as time goes on.

Make sure that there is a clear access path to the Safety Shower Unit

Once again, time is of the essence when it comes to being able to access a Safety Shower or Eye Wash Unit. Facility Managers and Safety Officers should ensure that workers have a clear, unobstructed path to the Safety Shower Unit, both to avoid further injury due to tripping and of course to save valuable time that could mean the difference between a severe injury and a recoverable one.

Safety Showers should be placed at the same level as the hazard

When installing a Safety Shower or Eye Wash Unit, it is very important to ensure that it is located at the same level as the hazard itself. Not only does this make sure it is accessible to impaired workers, but it also helps remove potential trip hazards.

Workers should be trained on how to use the Safety Shower or Eye Wash Unit

If an emergency arises, you’ll want to have confidence that your workers know how to operate any emergency PPE on site. As such, Safety Officers must make sure that all employees working on the site know how to operate the Safety Shower and/or Eye Wash Unit should the unthinkable happen (and such briefings should be carried out regularly).

Adequate Signage should be installed when locating a Safety Shower or Eye Wash Unit

It’s important that clear safety signs are installed that adequately explain to workers what the equipment is, e.g. is it an Eye Wash Unit, a Safety Shower, is it both? The signs must conform to BS EN ISO 7010. The purpose of this is to ensure employees can readily use the Safety Shower/Eye Wash Unit in the event of an emergency, rather than waste time trying to establish what unit does what.

The location of Safety Showers/Eye Wash Units in your worksite is something that requires thought and attention, hopefully, this article has given you some insight into the factors that you need to consider. If you need any advice, call our Safety Shower experts on 0402 32116 or drop them an email: With years of experience in supplying, hiring, and installing Safety Showers in Ireland, the Gaslines team is happy to share their knowledge.

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