Safety showers reduce risk to employees or students who work with hazardous chemicals. A safety shower has four basic functions: diluting, warming/cooling, irrigation and extinguishing. Diluting chemicals on the skin brings them to a non-harmful level. Warming/cooling changes the body temperature that occurs due to exposure or contact with chemicals. Irrigation washes the chemicals off the skin. Extinguishing puts out fires. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulates safety showers.
The water column is the water that comes from the shower head. It must be between 82 and 96 inches. The column must have a diameter of at least 20 inches when it is at a height of 60 inches above the surface. The water needs to run at a minimum of 20 gallons per minute.
The shower must be accessible within 10 seconds of the work space. If multiple work spaces exist there may need to be more safety showers. The path to the shower must be unobstructed so it is easily accessible.
All units must be inspected weekly to make sure the water runs in accordance with the guidelines. Activating the lines flushes the system and verifies the unit's operation. If the unit is self-contained (water does not connect to plumbing), the water must be inspected visually for change and filled to meet standards.
All employees or students who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals must be trained to operate the safety shower.
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