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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


Attorneys: Lockout/tag-out violations are costly OSHA violations

Columbus, Ohio — OSHA is hitting hard at the issue of lockout/tag-out and machine safety guarding and putting a laser focus on amputations that could result from failure to disconnect all energy before servicing and maintenance of industrial machines.

That was the message from two lawyers who spoke at the Environmental Health and Safety Summit.

“When do most often amputations occur? When someone forgot to lockout/tag-out and when there’s a lack of a guard. That’s when you’re going to see an amputation,” said Nelva Smith, of the Steptoe & Johnson law firm.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration revised its reporting rule on Jan. 1, 2015, so employers now must report within 24 hours any amputation injury, even if there is no loss of bone, as well as eye injuries and all in-patient hospitalizations. OSHA kept its ongoing rule that fatalities must be reported within eight hours.

Smith said OSHA is increasing fines every year for amputations.

“Now you can go up to $139,000 for a maximum for a willful and a repeat [violations],” she said. “So you can easily get one citation for $139,000. Imagine if you got five citations? How much is that? Over a half-million dollars. And again, there’s a pattern. They’re really hitting the lockout/tag-out and machine guarding.”

Plastics machinery, such as injection molding machinery, can cause serious injuries from pinching and crushing, especially in the mold clamping area.

“It’s to prevent serious injury or death. You should be aware of the standard and what your requirements are under the standard,” Smith said.

OSHA defines “amputation” broadly and is stricter than workers’ compensation, according to William Wahoff, a lawyer at the firm. “If it is the tip of the finger without any bone damaged, you still have to report it for OSHA.”

And Wahoff said amputations are likely to lead to OSHA inspections: 65 percent of reported amputations resulted in inspections, compared with in-patient hospitalizations, which lead to inspections in around 35-40 percent of the cases.

Smith and Wahoff gave an hour-long presentation about lockout/tag-out and machine guarding during the health and safety conference, held July 18-19 in Columbus. Both lawyers are based in Columbus.

OSHA uses the term “control of hazardous energy,” for what’s commonly called lockout/tag-out, Smith said, covering sources of energy such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical and thermal.

“Why do we need to do it? Because during the servicing and maintenance of these machines and equipment, that’s where the injuries do occur, more often than not,” Smith said. “The unexpected startup or release of stored energy will usually result in a serious injury or death. Usually these are very complicated big machines, with a lot of working parts, a lot of sharp edges and pinch-points and that sort of thing. And if you’ve got a maintenance person working on a machine and a fellow employee doesn’t know it’s not locked out and just says, ‘Oh, I’m gonna hit the start button; I don’t see anybody.’ This is where it happens.”

Smith and Wahoff said manufacturers must have an energy control program and specific procedures for each machine. They recommend posting the step-by-step procedure for lockout/tag-out right on the machine, making it visible for employees and OSHA inspectors. OSHA will ask about the hazardous energy policy, even if they are on-site for another type of complaint, the lawyers said.

Wahoff said that companies train plant employees and maintenance staff; they should use OSHA’s hazardous energy control terminology, at least part of the time, so they know the right wording when an inspector questions the workers.

Smith added that the person who puts the lock tag on the machine must be the one who takes it off when the work is completed.

What about during “normal production”? Smith said that is not covered by lockout/tag-out.

“The problem we run into is, can we argue certain things are normal production and I don’t have to lockout/tag-out, because it can be a very complicated procedure to disconnect all of the sources of energy,” she said. Minor tool changes and adjustments and other minor servicing activities are OK, “if it’s routine, it’s repetitive and integral to the use of the machine, and you use alternative measures to protect that employee,” Smith said.

But Wahoff said OSHA does not consider the setup of dies to be “normal operation.”

Smith laid out the way to think about it: “If you want to make an exception to the lockout/tag-out procedure, am I putting an employee in a zone of danger? Are they having to put themselves in a machine? Are we having to bypass a guard? Is that really ‘normal production’?”

 


13-Year-Old Scientist’s Research Shows Hand Dryers Can Hurt Kids’ Ears

Hand dryers are ubiquitous in public restrooms, the noise they make may be harmful to children’s ears.

According to research recently published in the Canadian journal Paediatrics & Child Health, And the study’s author can speak from personal experience.

 

“Sometimes after using hand dryers my ears would start ringing,” 13-year-old Nora Keegan from Calgary, Canada, tells NPR. “I also noticed that children would not want to use hand dryers, and they’d be covering their ears.”

So when she was 9, Nora decided to test the volume of hand dryers and find out if they were detrimental to children’s hearing. Nora’s research confirming her hypothesis was published in June.

Nora Keegan takes measurements in 2016 (Courtesy of the Keegan family)

Hand dryers are actually really, really loud, and especially at children’s heights since they’re close to where the air comes out,” says Nora, noting that children’s ears are more sensitive.

For the study, which was conducted between 2015 and 2017, she visited more than 40 public washrooms in Alberta, Canada. She used a professional decibel meter to measure sound levels of hand dryers from various heights and distances.

The young scientist then presented her research at a Calgary Youth Science Fair earlier this year.

She discovered that Xlerator hand dryers and two types of Dyson Airblade hand dryers posed the greatest threats to children’s hearing. These types all exceed 100 decibels — a volume that can lead to “learning disabilities, attention difficulties, and ruptured eardrums,” according to the study.

“My loudest measurement was 121 decibels from a Dyson Airblade model,” she says. “And this is not good because Health Canada doesn’t allow toys for children to be sold over 100 decibels, as they know that they can damage children’s hearing.”

In response to these results, Dyson confirmed to NPR in an email that an acoustics engineer would be meeting with Nora to discuss her research. Excel Dryer, the company that sells Xlerator hand dryers, did not respond to a request for comment before this story was published.

“While some other units operated at low sound levels, many units were louder at children’s ear heights than at adult ear heights,” the study concludes.

Nora hopes her findings will spark more research into the issue and eventually lead Canada to regulate noise levels for hand dryers. But for now, she’s taking a break and spending her summer like many 13-year-olds — at camp.

Update July 12: Excel Dryer, which owns Xlerator hand dryers, provided this statement after this story was originally published:

At Excel Dryer, we are committed to our customers.  User experience is very important to us, which is why all our high-speed, energy-efficient models come with adjustable sound and speed controls as a standard feature. This allows facilities the ability to choose the best settings for their restroom environments.

Click here to read our post on hand dryer v paper towel hygiene – It’s shockingly dirty!

 

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Source: https://www.npr.org/2019/07/09/739783918/hand-dryers-harm-childrens-hearing-canadian-study-shows


Bucket Truck Inspection Checklists. What should you do…

It seems there is little known about what’s required when checking bucket trucks and so we thought we’d share the consensus of findings…

The main OSHA Standard appears to be 1910.67 – Vehicle-Mounted Elevating & Rotating Work Platform states:

1910.67(c)(2)(i) Lift controls shall be tested each day prior to use to determine that such controls are in safe working condition.

If the vehicle is being used in the Construction industry, then the OSHA Standard 1926.601 Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment and Marine Operations will also have to be followed which states:

1926.601(b)(14) All vehicles in use shall be checked at the beginning of each shift to assure that the following parts, equipment, and accessories are in safe operating condition and free of apparent damage that could cause failure while in use: service brakes, including trailer brake connections; parking system (hand brake); emergency stopping system (brakes); tires; horn; steering mechanism; coupling devices; seat belts; operating controls; and safety devices. All defects shall be corrected before the vehicle is placed in service. These requirements also apply to equipment such as lights, reflectors, windshield wipers, defrosters, fire extinguishers, etc., where such equipment is necessary.

Bucket trucks, of course, have all of the above features.

This video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MdUM_VJxok may also be useful as it explains what should be covered in a daily inspection.

Having understood the above, the challenge for most safety professionals is making certain these safety checks happen! If that is a challenge for you, and you are committed to achieving a safety culture, SG World USA’s patented Bucket Truck Safety Checklist Solution will make a significant difference in Safety culture and compliance.

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Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/bucket-truck-inspection-checklists-what-should-you-do-nichols-mba/


8 Tips to Reduce Warehouse Utility Knife Accidents

It goes without saying. ALWAYS exercise caution when using a utility knife.

But it’s easy to forget safety tips when you’re under the gun to open a large load of cartons, loads secured with nylon banding or pallets wrapped with multiple layers of stretch film. That’s when simple mistakes can turn into serious workplace injuries. In fact, a single serious cut from a box opener can easily exceed thousands of dollars for emergency medical care, workers’ compensation and lost productivity.

In addition to causing worker injury, using a utility knife improperly can also damage a carton’s contents, rendering the goods unsalable and more losses. Worse yet, cutting the inner contents can cause liquid and powder spills that present slip and fall dangers to co-workers or customers.

We know—you get it. Especially if you play a role in keeping your workplace safe and productive.

SAFE WAREHOUSE CUTTING TECHNIQUES

  1. PROPER POSITION. Position the carton so it’s a safe distance from your abdomen, hips and thighs. Then draw the knife away from your body. Always maintain a safe distance from co-workers and customers as you cut.
  2. SHARP IS SAFE. A dull blade requires additional pressure to make the cut or may tear the cardboard. Stop and change the blade when needed. A dull blade cuts erratically and can easily slip off the cutting path, increasing chances for injury.
  3. VISUAL GUIDANCE. Never use your thumb as a guide to position the blade. Instead, plan your cut visually and grasp the knife with your entire hand.
  4. CUT AWAY FOR HANDS. Hold the carton with your hand on the opposite side you’re cutting. Keep your hands and fingers away from the cutting area at all times.
  5. PROPER EXCHANGE. Never toss or hand a knife to a co-worker. Set it down and let the co-worker pick it up.
  6. BLADE DISPOSAL. Discard used blades in a safe blade storage receptacle. Never toss in the garbage where they might injure an unsuspecting person.
  7. SAFETY DROPS. If you drop a knife, don’t try to catch it. Let it fall to the floor. Then examine the blade and mechanism for possible damage before using it again.
  8. STRETCH FILM DIRECTION. Pull stretch film away from the pallet contents before starting the cut. Start cutting the film from the top of the pallet. Never slice stretch film from the bottom up.

 

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Source: https://olfa.com/professional/tips-to-reduce-warehouse-utility-knife-accidents/


9 First Aid Tips You’ll Actually Use

First aid tips—especially when shared by paramedics—focus on emergency situations and procedures.

It’s all about how to react when blood is spurting, parts are missing, or breathing has stopped. That’s all good information, but the best first aid tips are for the mundane injuries that are most likely to happen at the company picnic or a child’s birthday party.

You shouldn’t ignore the advice on calling 911 or learning CPR. But it’s good to know what first aid you can do for the little things.

1. Stop a Bloody Nose

young man with bloody nose looking mirror

MAURO FERMARIELLO/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Bloody noses can happen without warning (and probably should be reported to your doctor), but the majority of bloody noses have help, usually in the form of digital trauma. That simply means nose-picking. If your nose starts bleeding and you didn’t do something to traumatize it, tell the doctor. Otherwise, keep your fingers out of your nostrils. If you can’t, learn how to stop a bloody nose.

2. Treat a Cut Finger

Finger with a bead of blood
 Jonathan Knowles/Stone/Getty Images

There’s nothing special about ​how to treat cut finger. You could use this first aid tip on a sliced nose, a split earlobe or a torn toe just as easily as a pinky finger. But when you do have blood dripping on the floor of your house it’s most likely coming from your digits. Thumbs, of course, are also included.

3. Treat a Sprain

sprained ankle

pixelfit/E+/Getty Images

Even if you’re not sliding into second base or crawling on rocks, everybody eventually gets a twisted ankle. You can sprain a wrist playing the Wii or taking out the garbage. As a normal adult, you need to know how to treat a sprain.

4. Remove a Splinter

Removing a splinter
Glass and Mirror

As far back as kindergarten, you had to know how to remove a splinter. From playground equipment to trees and debris, splinters are ubiquitous with growing up. But in case you missed some of the fine points, review how to do it right and help prevent an infection.

5. Stop Diarrhea

woman with abdominal pain

coloroftime / Getty Images

Even the most astute first aid instructor forgot to put first aid tips on how to stop diarrhea in the class. If you plan to travel outside your zip code, you might want to know how to battle the inevitable gastric somersaults you’re gonna feel. Not all rumbly tummies come from bad bugs, so you’ll likely need these tips at home, as well.

 

6. Treat Nausea

Nausea

Image © Photodisc / Getty Images

It stands to reason that if it’s coming out one end, it’s coming out the other. There’s not too much you can do for throwing up that isn’t fixed by finding the cause of nausea. However, every little bit helps. You really should know how to treat nausea.

 

7. Kill Head Lice

head lice

Melanie Martinez

You bathe and you shampoo your hair. There’s absolutely no chance you could get head lice, right? Wrong. Head lice love a clean head of hair—it’s where they live. The good news is that it’s not the end of the world. Head lice aren’t particularly dangerous—they’re just really gross. You need to know how to kill head lice.

 

8. Treat Bug Bites

big mosquito bite

dorioconnell Getty Images

Head lice aren’t the only critters that bite. There are millions of little biting bugs out there. Lots of them are in your house right now. Besides cut fingers, the most used first aid tip of all will be how to treat bug bites.

 

9. Treat a Burn

Skin Burn

PHOTO RESEARCHERS, INC. Getty

Touching the rack of a hot oven can really ruin the cookies. Luckily, you can pretty much handle the injury all by yourself. First, get off the computer and go put your finger under cold water. In 10 minutes, come back and check how to treat a burn.

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Source: https://www.centexproud.com/news/local/mother-saves-daughter-after-drowning-using-cpr/2059183427


Americans impacted by hearing loss hits record numbers

May is National Better Hearing Month

Green Guard First Aid and the American Academy of Audiology are encouraging the public to make an appointment with an audiologist if they suspect hearing loss for themselves or any of their loved ones.

According to the National Institutes of Health NIDCD, approximately 20 percent (48 million) of American adults aged 20 to 69, have some trouble with hearing and approximately 28.8 million could benefit from the use of hearing aids. Among adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in three (30 percent) has ever used them.

As the baby boomer population ages, more Americans are forced to face hearing health challenges. Growing numbers of younger Americans (including millennials and GenX’ers) are also reporting hearing problems. The NIH NIDCD also states that five in 10 young people listen to music or other audio too loudly and that four in 10 young people are around “dangerously loud noise during events like concerts and sports games.” Occupational noise is another factor impacting hearing in people of all ages who work outdoors, in factories, fulfillment centers, etc.

Technology has progressed extensively and hearing aids are no longer the bulky contraptions of years past.”  Hearing aid companies have stepped up to the plate to make “very cool” hearing aids for kids and young adults. “You can opt to buy hearing aids that are virtually undetectable or you can buy them in a wide range of cool colors and styles. Many work with smart phones.”

Audiologists are the experts in hearing health, Hearing aids are not always the only or recommended solution, which is why it’s important to see an audiologist to further determine the appropriate treatment. Sometimes the cause is temporary or a symptom of another illness or disease. An audiologist will run various tests to determine the cause and will be able to recommend treatment.

 

Some signs of hearing loss may include:

  • Suddenly having to turn up the volume of the television, radio, or stereo and having other family members complain that the volume is too loud.
  • Difficulty understanding people speaking to you and asking people to repeat themselves.
  • Difficulty with phone conversations and understanding the other person.
  • Sudden inability to hear the doorbell, the dog barking, and other household sounds.
  • People telling you that you speak too loudly.
  • Ringing in the ears.

In furthering working to help the public recognize hearing loss, the American Academy of Audiology helped launch a hearing screening app last year, hearScreen USA. The app provides an easy hearing test through the use of a smart phone. For those who demonstrate hearing loss, the app will recommend an audiologist. Based on technology developed by the University of Pretoria, South Africa, the app provides accurate detection of hearing loss in under three minutes.

To find an audiologist, go to www.audiology.org/FindAnAudiologist.

 

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Five Safety Tips that Impact Business

Follow these tips to create and maintain a strong safety culture that engages employees as part of the process.

It’s easy to turn a blind eye to safety when working in fast-paced environments and having to meet project deadlines. However, most manufacturing employers can attest to the turbulent outcomes that can arise if safety standards are not regularly enforced. Our everyday actions can have an impact on cost and productivity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2,000 eye injuries occur every day in the workplace, costing more than $300 million in lost production time, medical expenses and worker compensation.

It’s clear that many companies are failing workers with insufficient safety programs and injury prevention plans. However, employers have the opportunity to turn this situation around with a few changes. Protecting employees doesn’t mean your organization has to start from square one. It does, however, require you to create a strong safety culture and open communication channels so employees can collaborate when it comes to hazard identification and problem-solving.

Here are five tips that operations managers, site managers and safety coaches can use to start that dialogue:

1. Start from the top. Developing a healthy safety culture requires leadership to champion safety as a key organizational value. The company culture must include leading, working and acting safe. When management leads in safety, the organization will follow.

2. Distribute safety surveys. When executing on your safety culture, it’s important to first find out what your employees know about your safety guidelines and expectations. Are they familiar with your corporate policies and procedures? Do they even know their own responsibilities when it comes to safety? This survey also serves as a great opportunity to get anonymous feedback on employees’ perceptions about safety in your workplace.

3. Conduct pre-shift huddles. This is a time when management can reinforce the safety culture by covering near-injury misses, newly identified hazards and educating staff on how proper processes and equipment handling can protect everyone’s health and safety. The goal of safety huddles is to also provide an open, non-punitive forum for employees to communicate about workplace safety.

4. One-on-one discussions. Supervisors can build trust and show respect for their workers’ safety by engaging associates in informal safety discussions. Associates who know that their opinions and perspectives are valued will be more likely to participate in informal communication about safety practices. This is also an ideal setting to gain feedback from employees who may not be comfortable bringing up concerns in front of a large group.

5. Perform ongoing safety training. Providing safety training for employees is essential for creating a culture of workplace safety. A workforce with a strong understanding of safety guidelines and best practices is more likely to recognize potential hazards before they occur. This can lead to fewer injuries and help you avoid costly losses in productivity and employee morale.

Some of the benefits of a safer and more engaged workforce include:

●       reduced workers’ compensation costs, lower medical expenses and improved productivity.

●       improved safety as a result of clear and repeatable processes for identifying and addressing hazards and injury threats.

●       stronger employer branding and positive outside perspective of the organization.

 

 

Impact on Employer Branding

Workplace safety should begin and end not only with workers in mind, but with workers being engaged—actively participating and driving safety programs forward. High levels of employee engagement have also been correlated with greater productivity, quality and profitability, as well as reduced turnover rates. It can also contribute to improved employee retention, and it even has the ability to impact recruiting, since job seekers will be able to learn about your culture of safety through online reviews. In today’s world, job seekers look to current and former employees’ experience to decide whether or not they want to work for a company.

 

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Source: https://www.ehstoday.com/safety/five-safety-tips-impact-business


Did You Know You Need To Test Your Eye Wash Station Weekly To Meet OSHA/ANSI Standards?

Compliance is an all-day, every-day requirement.

Emergency showers and eyewashes are required by the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 standard to be activated weekly, with a more thorough evaluation on an annual basis. With OSHA fine increases of 80 percent having taken effect in August 2016, violations for inappropriate or inadequate eyewash and shower equipment have resulted in penalties of more than $100,000.

The standard guides the placement, functionality, and maintenance requirements for emergency showers and eyewashes. ANSI/ISEA Z358.1, in its current form, is the clearest and most useful tool for protecting workers from eye, face, and bodily injuries resulting from caustic and corrosive materials introduced by workplace incidents such as spills, splashes, and blown particulates.

The standard requires stringent testing to be conducted on a regular basis to ensure properly functioning equipment is being provided at all times if an incident were to occur. We should all understand that compliance is not a once-a-year or once-a-month responsibility. Compliance is an all-day, every-day requirement. Accordingly, emergency showers and eyewashes are required by the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 standard to be activated weekly, with a more thorough evaluation on an annual basis. This requirement is established in Sections including 4.6.2, 4.6.5.

In practice, emergency response equipment such as eyewashes and showers sometimes fall to the wayside when it comes to maintenance, especially when prioritized against emergency preparedness equipment such as eye protection and fall protection. You should know that OSHA does not prioritize or take a backseat when it comes to providing adequate and properly functioning equipment, regardless whether the equipment aids pre- or post-incident.

ANSI Weekly Minimum Performance Requirements
The standard itself has three minimum requirements for weekly inspections:

  1. Emergency equipment shall be activated weekly. (Each piece of equipment is required to be activated.)
  2. Activation shall ensure flow of water to the head(s) of the device. (This would be both the eyewash or eye/face wash head, as well as the showerhead.)
  3. Duration of the activation shall be sufficient to ensure all stagnant water is flushed from the unit itself and all sections of piping that do not form part of a constant circulation system, also known as “dead leg” portions. (The duration is determined by the length of piping where stagnant water could be sitting before it reaches the head(s) of the unit.)

In addition to the above weekly minimum performance checklist required by ANSI/ISEA, it is recommended as a best practice to conduct additional weekly functional checks. The purpose of these additional checks is to fully ensure the equipment is operating correctly and is capable of providing proper first aid in the event of an emergency.

ACCESS

  • Path of travel to the safety station shall be free of obstructions. (This could include hoses, boxes, and doors.) (Sections 4.5.2, 5.4.2, 6.4.2, 7.4.2)

SHOWER

  • Shower must deliver a minimum of 20 gallons (75.7 L) per minute. (Sec. 4.1.2, 4.1.4, 7.1)
  • The valve shall go from “off” to “on” in one second or less and flushing fluid shall remain on without the use of operator’s hands. (Sec. 4.2, 7.1)

EYEWASH/EYE/FACE WASH

  • Outlets shall be protected from airborne contaminants. (Dust covers must be in place.) (Sec. 5.1.3, 6.1.3, 7.1)
  • The valve shall go from “off” to “on” in one second or less and flushing fluid shall remain on without the use of operator’s hands. (Sec. 5.2, 6.2, 7.2)
  • The flushing fluid of an eyewash or eye/face wash shall cover the areas between the interior and exterior lines of a gauge at some point less than 8 inches (20.3 cm) above the eyewash nozzle. (sec 5.1.8, 6.1.8,7.1)
  • Must provide a means of a controlled flow to both eyes simultaneously at a velocity low enough to be non-injurious. (Sec. 5.1.1, 6.1.1, 7.1)

COMBINATION UNIT

  • Combination unit components shall be capable of operating simultaneously. (When the eyewash or eye/face wash is activated, and then the shower is activated, there should be no “starvation” occurring to either of the heads.) (Sec. 7.3, 7.4.4)

TEMPERATURE

  • Deliver tepid flushing fluid. (The required temperature range is 60°F – 100°F [16°C – 38°C])(Sec. 4.5.6, 5.4.6, 6.4.6, 7.4.5)

Plumbed Shower and Eyewash Equipment
As a general statement, all equipment needs to be inspected weekly to ensure that there is a flushing fluid supply and that the equipment is in good repair. If the equipment is of a plumbed design, then it should also be activated weekly to clear the supply line of any sediment buildup and to minimize any microbial contamination due to stagnant water.

Self-Contained Eyewash and Shower Equipment
Self-contained, also often referred to as “portable,” emergency response equipment is typically used in locations where there is either no access to water or at highly mobile sites where hazards are mobile. The ANSI/ISEA requirement for this type of equipment is to be visually inspected weekly to determine whether the flushing fluid needs to be exchanged or supplemented (Sections 4.6.3 and others). The units should be maintained as per the manufacturer’s specific model instructions.

A majority of self-contained units that use potable water also offer a sterile bacteriostatic additive option to prevent the water from growing bacteria. An exchange of the water and refill of the additive is required every three months for most additive products, as well as rinsing the unit clean between the exchanges. If an additive is not being used, then the water should be exchanged on a weekly basis, at a minimum, with a thorough tank cleaning monthly. On an annual basis, self-contained units are required to undergo the full test just as plumbed units do.

The question is often asked whether a company must hire a certified tester to conduct the weekly and annual inspections. Fortunately, there are no prerequisite or certification requirements to be able to test the equipment, although having a complete understanding of the installation and performance requirements will aid in ensuring conformance. There are various training tools, including Online Competent Inspector Training, offered by equipment manufacturers and others for individuals to become subject-matter experts. This allows company personnel to get familiar with what to look for and how to conduct the tests appropriately. Many companies today opt to have an outside third-party inspection performed for them annually, which provides an added measure of credibility and assurance to the review process.

 

Facilities that contain hundreds of shower and eyewash units should strive to create as many subject-matter experts as possible. Once trained, the weekly checks can be completed rather quickly. Creating facility maps, having full testing kits available, and holding recurring training classes can assist in the tedious yet crucial weekly task.

Worker protection should be a priority in every safety plan. Simply providing emergency showers and eyewashes is not enough. It is necessary to inspect, test, and monitor equipment readiness and performance for the optimal response.

 

Did you know Green Guard First Aid & Safety offers First Aid service to help maintain your First Aid Cabinets? 

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Source: https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2018/09/01/Testing-Your-Emergency-Equipment-to-Meet-ANSI-Z3581.aspx?admgarea=ht.ShowersEyewash&Page=3


Getting Workers to Use Their Protective Gear

Respiratory Protection

Small changes in training can lead to big results.

Buying safety equipment and getting workers to use it are two entirely different things. Anecdotally, almost every safety professional I’ve spoken to finds it much easier to go shopping for the latest hard hat and safety glasses than getting workers to comply with PPE requirements.

The usual advice to improve compliance to provide new, more comfortable PPE that looks good. But what happens when you’ve purchased new protective equipment that fits well and looks good, but it still doesn’t get used when it should?

There are several often-overlooked ways to get workers to wear their PPE. In most cases, these are small changes in what many workplaces are actually doing—but collectively, they can lead to major improvements.

The Whys of Training

Training should cover more than how to properly wear PPE. It should also discuss why. One of the biggest causes of PPE noncompliance is that many workers simply don’t think they need it. When they’re asked why they aren’t wearing PPE, people will often say things like, “I just never thought to put it on.”

PPE trainers should take a cue from basic marketing tactics and present workers with more impactful value propositions. Explain why PPE use is necessary, make it feel urgent, and appeal to them with compelling stories.

Good stories are personal and relevant. One of my own go-to stories is about a time when I was walking through a worksite—and out of the blue, a rivet struck my hard hat. It had been dropped by someone working on a raised platform several stories up and could have caused serious damage if I hadn’t been wearing PPE.

This story works well because it demonstrates that wearing PPE is a practical choice we can make to protect against other people’s mistakes. It also shows that I personally believe in the value of PPE, and it provides a good prompt for a discussion about when it’s necessary to wear hard hats.

 

More than Monthly

If you want PPE use to become a regular practice, then you need to make it a regular topic of conversation. This means discussing PPE with workers at every opportunity and from every angle. Provide verbal refreshers of key teaching points from PPE training, talk about why it’s so important to wear PPE and chat about different situations in which workers may be tempted to remove their PPE so that people will be on the alert and prepared to act in the safest manner possible.

These refreshers can be delivered in a variety of ways. At the end of a one-on-one conversation with a worker, take a few moments to remind them about PPE issues. You can also discuss PPE when assigning workers to new tasks or when talking to them about non-safety elements of their job. Also consider more passive forms of reminders, such as noting PPE requirements in safety posters, and on video displays in break rooms and other common areas.

Many manufacturing companies already have group discussions built into the work schedule. In most cases, these are either monthly safety meetings or weekly toolbox talks. A short conversation about PPE can usually be worked into these meetings with minimal effort. But monthly discussions typically aren’t enough (especially because other safety issues also need to be covered).

 

When It’s Time for an Intervention

Sometimes proper training and regular toolbox talks on PPE isn’t enough to get everyone to comply. If someone consistently fails to wear their PPE, then it’s time to have a one-on-one conversation with them.

The conversation should be direct but it shouldn’t be focused on reprimanding the worker for unsafe actions. Instead, let the worker share why they think certain behavior is acceptable and then have the supervisor follow up with an explanation of the risks.

People are more likely to listen if they feel listened to in turn, and if they believe in the underlying need for PPE rules. So even when a frank conversation is required because someone isn’t wearing safety gloves or eye protection, it’s still important to focus not on current noncompliance but on desired behavior in the future.

 

From Decision to Habit

Every time a worker makes the decision to use PPE, there’s always a small chance they could choose to not use PPE. That’s why the goal is to transform PPE use into an unconscious habit.

It’s not something that happens overnight. In most cases, building safety habits requires a lot of small course corrections and encouragement, both of which come from group and individual conversations. Eventually, though, PPE use will go from being a rule that must be enforced to something that happens automatically.

Source: https://www.ehstoday.com/ppe/safe-any-speed-getting-workers-use-their-protective-gear

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