Because WorkSafe do not have specific guidance about Showers and Eye Face/Washes, does it mean that any old system will do? No. WorkSafe requires compliance with an overseas standard which can be seen as reasonably practicable steps where the standard is equivalent to or higher than the NZ Standard, or where there is not an equivalent NZ Standard.
In practice, what this means is that Shower or Eye/Face Wash installations must comply with a recognised international standard. Failing this, it will be deemed that reasonably practicable steps have not been taken to provide the right kind of emergency response for workers.
In the pictures above, the unit on the left is not compliant with AS 4775-2007 or ANSI Z358.1 for two key reasons alone:
- The eyewash needs user intervention to maintain water flow whereas the standards require hands-free stay-open valve that activates in one second or less.
- The spray heads are not protected from contamination which could result in particles being washed in the eyes on activation, while the standards require spray heads to be protected from airborne contaminants.
There are several other key factors that need to be considered:
- Controlled, low velocity flow completely rinses eyes and face and is not injurious to the user.
- Water stream is sufficiently high to allow user to hold eyes open while rinsing.
- Eye/Face Wash unit must deliver at least 11.4 liters of water per minute for 15 minutes.
- Water flow pattern is positioned between 83.8 cm and 134.6 cm from the floor and at least 15.3 cm from the wall or nearest obstruction.
- Valve actuator is easy to locate and readily accessible to user.
- Unit washes both eyes simultaneously.
- Water flow covers area indicated by an appropriate test gauge at no more than 20.3 cm above spray nozzle.
Any old thing will simply not suffice. There is a Wrong Way and the Guardian Way. All Guardian Eye/Face Washes meet the applicable standard. Make sure you are compliant and using the correct equipment. Contact ph7 International on 0800 323 223 if you would like to know more about our Guardian Safety Showers and Eye/face Washes and click here to receive a free copy of our Compliance Checklist.