Emergency shower valve should be a first priority in the working environment. The industry owners prioritize the well-being and safety of their workers. And it will allow them to be ready for emergency situations. Shower valves are one of the main components for prevention in emergencies. Because the shower valve provides water flow at optimal pressure and temperature. They are also in compliance with emergency shower rules. In this guide we’ll explore the emergency shower valve, its significance, functionality, maintenance & compliance with regulatory rules. Finally, the crucial role of emergency shower valves for workspace safety and wellbeing of workers.
The importance of emergency shower valves
Shower valve is the vital component of the shower system. And it should be an integral consideration in the safety plan for any organization. Their main function is providing quick response in cases of chemical splash or other dangerous materials. During an emergency every second is crucial. Immediate access to the safety shower valve can convert serious injury into minor injury. These valves can play a vital role for the safety of workers at the workspaces. Especially the work areas where workers are handling the hazardous materials. Let’s explore how an emergency shower valve is significant in emergency cases.
Firstly the valves provide a swift response in any emergency. And proved to be beneficial in cases of exposure to dangerous substances. Valves help to initiate the water flow for flushing the chemicals from the body or even eyes. Hence, the chances of serious outcomes will be minimized. Moreover, they help in stopping the progress of injury. Quick use of the valve of the emergency shower prevents the spreading of chemicals to other parts of the body or skin. Thus reduces the severity of the injuries. Flow of water dilutes and wash the harmful agents just before serious damage is done. If the immediate action is not taken the result can be permanent damage to the eye and loss of vision. Using a safety valve preserves vision by immediate flow of water to wash the eyes.
Another point of their importance is the compliance with rules and regulations. Regulatory bodies recommend the installation of emergency showers at working areas. When the employers install the shower valve near the working sites, they are following the rules and regulations set by authorities. Additionally, these valves minimize the chances of chemical burns. Chemicals may result in serious health problems. Usage of the shower valve limits the risk factor of chemical burns by providing immediate water flow for decontamination.
Meanwhile shower valves reduce the chances of spreading the dangerous materials to near or surrounding places. The rinsed water containing decontaminants is then collected through the drainage system. This way, an emergency shower valve helps to limit the chemical spreading. Additionally, they maintain the industry or organization reputation & trust. Presence of shower valves in industries shows the commitment of employers for the safety of workers or employees. Also, safety is the first priority of the industry owners.
Furthermore, they ensure insurance against accidents. Emergency shower valve presence near accidental areas can reduce the severity of injury. Less the injuries the less will be medical costs and no insurance claims. In the end, the availability of shower valves gives security and peace of mind. When the workers know the safety equipment is present near the working place. They will be more comfortable and work oriented. This ensures the peace of mind to employees working in dangerous materials.
Emergency shower valves have various key features that are beneficial for the safety of workers. Let’s continue to their features:
The primary feature of shower valves in their immediate response. They are designed for quick activation in a single click. By a simple push or pull on the valve initiates the shower to provide water flow. The water flow is continuous for rinsing the affected part of the body and to contaminate it thoroughly. Another feature is the integration of eyewash equipment. Some models have showers with eyewash stations attached to them. This addition allows the workers to wash their eyes affected by chemicals or other harmful substances. And prevent serious damage to the eyes.
Moreover, shower valves are made of a durable material. The manufacturing material is corrosive resistant in nature. That protects it from erosion, and it remains intact even in harsh working environments. Also, they are installed in a visible and accessible area. Located on an easily accessible site they have a prominent sign board point towards the valve. Therefore, the worker can locate it easily in emergency situations.
Read about emergency showers also known as hätäsuihku in Finnish.
OSHA guidelines for emergency shower valves
Shower valves should be installed near the working areas. Or the places where dangerous materials are handled by employees. Employees must follow the guidelines set by OSHA. If an organization does not follow the recommendation, it can face legal inquiries and penalties.
The guidelines by OSHA are set including placement of shower valve, temperature, maintenance, and duration of using a valve. Placement of the shower valve should be at a distance of 10 seconds walking from the emergency or accident area. They should be placed at the level of hazardous sites. Next the temperature of water flowing from the shower should be optimal. The recommended temperature is from 60-100°F or 16-38°C. OSHA recommends the use of a shower for at least 15 minutes with consistent flow of water. Finally, the maintenance and inspection should be done regularly on weekly or monthly periods.
Maintenance and testing
Every safety equipment needs a regular inspection, testing, and maintenance. This work ensures the effectiveness of safety tools and they are available to handle emergency situations. Inspection and testing includes accessibility, any leakage or blockage, and water temperature & flow.
Best practices for maintenance
A weekly or monthly visual inspection is one of the best practices. During visual inspection check out any damage leakage or any obstruction in pipes of shower or valves. Activation test is essential to check whether the shower valve is working properly or not. Check the water flow whether it is consistent or there is turbulent flow pointing to any obstruction. The activation will stop any sedimentation in shower valves.
Along with above practices also do an annual inspection of the full shower system. Full inspection of the shower or eyewash station should be done in the presence of a certified professional. The inspection should consist of checking the water pressure and temperature. Additionally, check for any leakage, damage to the system, and sediments in valves or pipes.
Training and awareness
Workers should be well trained and aware of the use of shower valves. Proper awareness and training should be given to workers through training sessions. When they practice how to use the shower valve they become more confident and focus on their duties. They should be familiar with the location of safety equipment and know the activation process of the shower valves. Moreover, proper first aid training will enable the workers to handle any emergency situation.
To conclude, an emergency shower valve is the critical addition to safety for workspaces. It is first line prevention from chemical exposure. Employers should invest in these safety equipment. This will show their priority of a safe environment for their employees. For the effectiveness of these equipment a regular inspection, maintenance, and training of workers is essential. Giving importance to safety protects the workers, in addition, develops a safety culture for a safe and secure working environment. With best practices, compliance with guidelines by regulatory authorities employers can establish a comfortable and safe environment for their workers.