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How To Maintain & Clean Your Emergency Eyewash Stations

Emergency Eyewash Station Maintenance

In this guide, we’ll walk you through some best practices on how to keep your eyewash units in tip-top condition, so that you can rest assured that they’ll be ready for action should the unthinkable happen.

Why is maintenance so important?

Eyewash stations are of critical importance in any workplace that works with hazardous, corrosive substances. Using an eyewash in an emergency situation can help prevent scarring, permanent injury and blindness.

Improper maintenance can lead to a number of hazards, which we’ve detailed below.

Infections

Bacteria, amoeba and other disease-causing organisms thrive in stagnant water. If an eyewash station is not regularly flushed and activated for testing purposes, the water within the system will begin to harbor organisms such as legionella, pseudomonas and acanthamoeba, which, if propelled into the eyes, can cause nasty infections such as conjunctivitis.

If the user’s eyes have been damaged (which, after all, is probably the reason they’d be using an eyewash unit in the first place), the risk of infection is even greater.

Corrosion

Over time, iron-containing metals that come into contact with water are liable to oxidize, or rust. Not only can this lead to contamination of the water used in the eyewash station, but it can also cause damage to the unit itself.

Corrosion can cause holes in the pipes supplying the eyewash unit, resulting in leaks, which can cause the eyewash to discharge water at an insufficient pressure, diminishing its ability to properly flush out the eyes of the user.

image of How To Maintain & Clean Your Emergency Eyewash Stations

Blockages

Occasionally, dust, dirt and foreign objects can build up within an eyewash station, especially if it is not operated for a long period of time. This debris can lead to contamination and cause blockages in the pipework.

Blockages can impede the flow of water to the unit, or conversely increase the pressure, sometimes even to levels that can harm the user’s eyes.

Testing

The ANSI regulations, as well as the various other bodies of guidance that pertain to emergency eyewash stations, state that units must be regularly tested, and for good reason.

Regular testing doesn’t just ensure that the unit is functioning correctly – it also helps prevent the water within the unit from sitting and becoming stagnant and helps flush any collected debris through the pipes.

Aside from the weekly functional testing mandated by the ANSI regulations, it is advisable to perform a weekly visual inspection of all eyewash units to ensure that they are free from detritus and in a good state of cleanliness.

The water stored in portable eyewash stations should be changed at least every 120 days. The water should also be treated with water preservative to help keep microbes at bay. Water preservative comes supplied with all of our portable eyewash units.

Cleaning

As with any item of safety equipment, it is crucial that eyewash stations are kept clean and sanitary. This will prevent the buildup of harmful, infection-causing microbes.

When cleaning an eyewash station, use a simple solution of household detergent and hot water. Apply the solution to the unit with a soft sponge or cloth before rinsing thoroughly, making sure to sluice away any remaining soap residue.

Did You Know?

Green Guard First Aid offers onsite services to help you meet and maintain compliance for your Eye Wash Station, First Aid cabinet, AED and many other safety-related items?

 

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Source: https://www.safety-eyewash.co.uk/content/eyewash-maintenance-guide


Are Your Employee’s Wearing The Right Safety Glasses?

Over 2000 eye injuries occur everyday at work in the U.S.

(As reported by Niosh)

 

Construction workers have one of the highest eye injury rates.

Most common are particles of dust, metal, wood, slag, drywall, cement etc. are the most common source of eye injury to carpenters.

Even “minor” eye injuries can cause life-long vision problems and suffering–a simple scratch from sawdust, cement, or drywall can cause corneal erosion that is painful.

Hammering on metal which gives off metal slivers and the rebounding of the ordinary nail are two of the most common causes of vision loss in construction workers.

Potential Eye Hazard Examples

  • Hammering, grinding, sanding, and masonry work that may produce particles
  • Handling chemicals may lead to splashes in the eye
  • Wet or powdered cement in the eye can cause a chemical burn.
  • Welding leads to exposure to arcs and flashes (intense UV radiation) for welders, helpers, and bystanders
  • Dusty or windy conditions can lead to particles in the eye
  • Eye injuries can result from simply passing through an area where work is being performed
  • Coworkers around or above you may generate the hazard

Find the Z87 marking on your safety glasses.

 

Safety eye and face protection includes non-prescription and prescription safety glasses, clear or tinted goggles, faceshields, welding helmets, and some full-face type respirators that meet the ANSI Z87.1 Eye and Face Protection Standard

The safety eyewear must have “Z87” or “Z87+” marked on the frame and in some cases the lens

Goggles are stronger than safety glasses

Goggles are used for higher impact protection, greater particle protection, chemical splashes, and welding light protection

Goggles for splash or high dust protection should have indirect venting

Goggles with direct venting (a mesh of small holes around the sides) tend to fog less, but should not be used with liquid or fine dust hazards

Common tasks: sawing, chipping, grinding, masonry work, using a nail gun, pouring cement, and working with chemicals

When goggles are used for welding make sure they are the proper shade # (the shade number is marked on the lens and shows how dark the lens is)

When should you use a face shield?

Faceshields are used for even higher impact protection and to protect the wearer’s face in addition to the eyes

Faceshields should always be used over safety glasses or goggles

Particles or chemicals can easily go around a faceshield and the curve of the faceshield can direct them into the eye

Faceshields are frequently lifted leaving the eyes unprotected without the safety glasses or goggles

Common tasks: spraying, chipping, grinding

If safety glasses look, cool people are more likely to wear them.

Safety glasses have hard or soft nose pieces, padded temples, and a variety of other features that improve comfort without adding great cost

Safety glasses come in many styles from the Buddy Holly heavy frames, to the old visitor specs, frameless lens, frames with football logos, aviator metal frames, and the most stylish wraparound glasses

Tinted safety glasses are now common that rival the most expensive commercial sunglasses but cost much less and are safer

What are the lenses made of in your safety glasses?

Most non-prescription (plano) safety glasses have polycarbonate lenses

The non-prescription safety glasses are tested by shooting a 1/4″ BB at 100mph at the lens and dropping a 1 lb pointed weight from 4′ on the lens–if it breaks in either test it won’t have the Z87 mark

Prescription safety glasses may have polycarbonate, glass, or a plastic called CR39 but these glasses only have to pass a test of dropping a 2oz steel ball from 4′ unless they are marked Z87+; then they must pass the high velocity/impact tests

Polycarbonate lenses are much more impact resistant than glass or plastic lenses. Glass and plastic lenses usually shatter into small sharp pieces, but polycarbonate usually just cracks

Are your safety glasses scratched?

Polycarbonate lenses scratch easier than other lenses, but new anti-scratch coatings help if the glasses are cared for properly

Wear an eyewear retainer strap that will let the glasses hang around your neck when not in use instead of laying them down on the job

Store them in an old sock before they are tossed into a tool chest or the seat of a car or pickup

Use a glasses cleaning station or wash and wipe with a soft clean cloth (old T-shirts work fine, but the sweaty shirt that you’re wearing may have as much drywall dust as your safety glasses, creating a muddy mess on the lenses by day’s end)

When do you take your safety glasses off?

When finished with a tool or specific task–but what’s going on around you?

At your break–but are there still hazards around you from other workers?

At the end of the day, but while still on the job site–a carpenter took his glasses and tool belt off and left them on the roof at the end of the day; while climbing down the ladder he lost an eye from a coworker dropping pliers on him from above

As you leave the site and are out of the hazard zone

What do you do to stop your safety glasses from fogging?

Buy safety glasses that have anti-fog coatings put on during manufacturing

Use anti-fog solutions on the lenses regularly, if needed

Wear a sweat band on your forehead or a cool rag in your hard hat

Keep the lenses clean and unscratched.

 

 

Need help deciding what Safety Glasses are best for your employees?

Visit our PPE Page Green Guard today!

Call 800-869-6970

Click here to Email

CHAT, click on the Live Chat button on the right hand side of your screen 

 


5 tips to keep your eyes safe!

As reported by Niosh, 2000 eye injuries occur everyday at work in the U.S.

Construction workers have one of the highest eye injury rates.

Most common are particles of dust, metal, wood, slag, drywall, cement etc. are the most common source of eye injury to carpenters.

Even “minor” eye injuries can cause life-long vision problems and suffering–a simple scratch from sawdust, cement, or drywall can cause corneal erosion that is recurrenly painful.

Hammering on metal which gives off metal slivers and the rebounding of the ordinary nail are two of the most common causes of vision loss in construction workers.

1. Understand Potential Eye Hazard Examples

  • Hammering, grinding, sanding, and masonry work that may produce particles
  • Handling chemicals may lead to splashes in the eye
  • Wet or powdered cement in the eye can cause a chemical burn.
  • Welding leads to exposure to arcs and flashes (intense UV radiation) for welders, helpers, and bystanders
  • Dusty or windy conditions can lead to particles in the eye
  • Eye injuries can result from simply passing through an area where work is being performed
  • Coworkers around or above you may generate the hazard

2. Find the Z87 marking on your safety glasses.

 

Safety eye and face protection includes non-prescription and prescription safety glasses, clear or tinted goggles, faceshields, welding helmets, and some full-face type respirators that meet the ANSI Z87.1 Eye and Face Protection Standard

The safety eyewear must have “Z87” or “Z87+” marked on the frame and in some cases the lens

Goggles are stronger than safety glasses

Goggles are used for higher impact protection, greater particle protection, chemical splashes, and welding light protection

Goggles for splash or high dust protection should have indirect venting

Goggles with direct venting (a mesh of small holes around the sides) tend to fog less, but should not be used with liquid or fine dust hazards

Common tasks: sawing, chipping, grinding, masonry work, using a nail gun, pouring cement, and working with chemicals

When goggles are used for welding make sure they are the proper shade # (the shade number is marked on the lens and shows how dark the lens is)

3. When should you use a face shield?

Faceshields are used for even higher impact protection and to protect the wearer’s face in addition to the eyes

Faceshields should always be used over safety glasses or goggles

Particles or chemicals can easily go around a faceshield and the curve of the faceshield can direct them into the eye

Faceshields are frequently lifted leaving the eyes unprotected without the safety glasses or goggles

Common tasks: spraying, chipping, grinding

4. If safety glasses look, cool people are more likely to wear them.

Safety glasses have hard or soft nose pieces, padded temples, and a variety of other features that improve comfort without adding great cost

Safety glasses come in many styles from the Buddy Holly heavy frames, to the old visitor specs, frameless lens, frames with football logos, aviator metal frames, and the most stylish wraparound glasses

Tinted safety glasses are now common that rival the most expensive commercial sunglasses but cost much less and are safer

What are the lenses made of in your safety glasses?

Most non-prescription ( plano ) safety glasses have polycarbonate lenses

The non-prescription safety glasses are tested by shooting a 1/4″ BB at 100mph at the lens and dropping a 1 lb pointed weight from 4′ on the lens–if it breaks in either test it won’t have the Z87 mark

Prescription safety glasses may have polycarbonate, glass, or a plastic called CR39 but these glasses only have to pass a test of dropping a 2oz steel ball from 4′ unless they are marked Z87+; then they must pass the high velocity/impact tests

Polycarbonate lenses are much more impact resistant than glass or plastic lenses. Glass and plastic lenses usually shatter into small sharp pieces, but polycarbonate usually just cracks

Are your safety glasses scratched?

Polycarbonate lenses scratch easier than other lenses, but new anti-scratch coatings help if the glasses are cared for properly

Wear an eyewear retainer strap that will let the glasses hang around your neck when not in use instead of laying them down on the job

Store them in an old sock before they are tossed into a tool chest or the seat of a car or pickup

Use a glasses cleaning station or wash and wipe with a soft clean cloth (old T-shirts work fine, but the sweaty shirt that you’re wearing may have as much drywall dust as your safety glasses, creating a muddy mess on the lenses by day’s end)

When do you take your safety glasses off?

When finished with a tool or specific task–but what’s going on around you?

At your break–but are there still hazards around you from other workers?

At the end of the day, but while still on the job site–a carpenter took his glasses and tool belt off and left them on the roof at the end of the day; while climbing down the ladder he lost an eye from a coworker dropping pliers on him from above

As you leave the site and are out of the hazard zone

5. What do you do to stop your safety glasses from fogging?

Buy safety glasses that have anti-fog coatings put on during manufacturing

Use anti-fog solutions on the lenses regularly, if needed

Wear a sweat band on your forehead or a cool rag in your hard hat

Keep the lenses clean and unscratched.

If you need help deciding, contact Green Guard today!

 

 

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Call Now to learn more

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