1 Know the location of safety equipment.
Locate your eye wash and emergency shower. An eye wash and emergency shower must be available within 10 seconds of unobstructed travel from where hazardous materials are used.
Keep the path clear and unobstructed to your safety equipment.
Examples of different types of equipment are shown here.
2Use only approved safety equipment.
Eye wash stations mounted on sinks are valid only if they have 2 orifices.
Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) discourages the use of a deluge hose as an eye wash. Deluge hoses are for cleaning glassware or other laboratory activities; they are not inspected by EH&S and may not be sanitary.
Never rely on sink faucets to replace an eye wash or emergency shower.
Learn how to operate your safety equipment.
Maintain clearance around your safety equipment.
Make sure safety equipment is in good operating condition at all times.
Use safety equipment for its intended purpose only.
Eye wash operation
Emergency shower operation
Questions? Contact the EH&S Research Assistance Program specialist assigned to your building.
3Learn how to operate your safety equipment.
Eye washes and emergency showers are easy to operate. Most equipment is designed for hands-free operation with either paddles, levers, or a pull-lever.
To turn off, simply reverse the action required to turn it on.
Ask your Area Safety Coordinator to show you how to use the equipment.
4Make sure safety equipment is in good operating condition at all times.
Make sure the eye wash and emergency shower will be reliable when you need them.
Periodically check the following:
Cover the eye wash spouts with caps to keep them clean. Caps should be easy to remove in an emergency.
Look for a current date on the equipment's inspection tag. Eye washes and emergency showers are inspected monthly by EH&S to ensure they work.
5Use safety equipment for its intended purpose only.
Never use safety equipment for cleaning lab or shop equipment, personal objects, or for other non-emergency purposes.
6Eye wash operation
Use the emergency eye wash immediately if your eyes are exposed to a hazardous chemical.
Keep eyes openThe first few seconds after exposure to a hazardous chemical (especially a corrosive chemical) are critical. Delaying treatment, even for a few seconds, may result in irreparable eye damage. Don't hesitate!
7Emergency shower operation
Use an emergency shower immediately if your skin is exposed to a hazardous chemical.
The first few seconds after exposure to a hazardous chemical (especially a corrosive chemical) are critical. Delaying treatment, even for a few seconds, may result in irreparable tissue damage. Don't hesitate!
Note: Some outdoor emergency showers may run discolored (rusty) water for a few seconds. Don't hesitate to use them immediately when needed.