Safety and Commercial Plumbing Products
Practice Safety For Your Staff
In a world where safety concerns can sometimes be overlooked, Action Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electric, Inc. is asking the hard questions. Is your commercial or industrial facility safe and are additional plumbing-related safety products needed in order to keep your staff safe should a spill, or some other unthinkable safety hazard occur? Is your facility in compliance with current new standards with OSHA for 2019? Do you know if you need emergency eyewash or shower stations in your current facilities?
If you need to upgrade your current emergency stations, consider calling Action Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electric, Inc. to discuss the latest OSHA approved emergency eyewash stations and emergency showers for your commercial facility.
Put Safety First: The New View Of Safety First.
According to Dr. Sidney Dekker, safety has reached a dead end. In his opinion, we need a new view of safety for the safety professionals, consultants, and academics. That was in 2014, and here we are in 2019 and the industry has responded favorably. Human and organizational performance (HOP) practices are growing. This new view about safety, products, awareness, and training do more to alter the deflated mindset about safety than any single program. New safety tactics, strategies, and products to facilitate implementation are at an all-time high on exposure.
ISHN (Industrial & Hygiene News), in the most recent polling information, thinks that safety in the proper setting and industry is anything but another “flavor of the month” program or slogan — something here today, gone tomorrow. The “new view” or doing safety differently has been written about in books, discussed at workshops, and even made into YouTube documentaries. But U.S. safety and health pros – and companies – are just beginning to get wide exposure to the differences between traditional safety and safety.
How does this relate to you here in Madison and Dane County?
Well if you are a commercial facility, or engage in the manufacture of chemicals, produce hazardous materials, have poisons, toxins, and a variety of other types of related products, you need safety eyewash stations, safety showers, and other state of the art types of emergency equipment. For purposes of this article we will generally outline some basic OSHA information about eyewash stations. Even in commercial kitchens there may be a need to install eyewash stations in case of a spill or accident that requires eye safety procedures to be followed to the letter.
The severity of injury, time of exposure, and number of employees exposed are all considered by compliance officers in determining the required number of eyewash stations, shower stations, or both eyewash and shower stations. Employees must be trained to hold their eyes open during the flushing process. All employees also should be trained on how to use the emergency equipment fixtures before they handle hazardous chemicals.
The first 10 to 15 seconds after exposure to a hazardous substance, especially a corrosive substance, are critical. Delaying treatment, even for a few seconds, may cause serious injury. Emergency showers and eyewash stations provide on-the-spot decontamination. They allow workers to flush away hazardous substances that can cause injury.
Accidental chemical exposures can still occur even with good engineering controls and safety precautions. As a result, it is essential to look beyond the use of goggles, face shields, and procedures for using personal protective equipment. Emergency showers and eyewash stations are a necessary backup to minimize the effects of accident exposure to chemicals. Emergency showers can also be used effectively in extinguishing clothing fires or for flushing contaminants off clothing.
For companies maintaining or considering emergency shower and eyewash stations, there are two key standards to remember. The ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment is an essential resource—visit ISEA’s www.safetyequipment.org website to order it. This important consensus standard outlines the minimum equipment performance criteria for this equipment. It specifies flow rates, water temperature delivery, testing, and much more.
Z358.1 is the leading international standard for the implementation of eyewash and emergency shower equipment. On the standard’s page on its website, ISEA points out what a wide range of industries need to install and maintain this emergency equipment, listing “manufacturing and processing facilities, construction sites, laboratories, medical and healthcare offices, refineries and other workplaces.”
The other key standard is OSHA’s first aid standard, the one that explains the requirement for certain facilities in those and other industries to install shower or eyewash equipment. OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.151(c) says, “Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.”
End users frequently ask what constitutes “immediate use.” Fortunately, ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 answers this question: It specifies that showers and eyewashes should be located within 10 seconds’ travel distance from a hazard. As Speakman Company’s Imants Stiebris explained in an article in the July 2018 issue of this magazine, “While in existing facilities it is fairly easy to measure 10 seconds with a stopwatch, engineers and architects who are designing facilities do not have this luxury; all that they have to work with are blueprints. To help these design professionals, the Z358.1 standard suggests that 55 feet is a distance that most persons can travel in 10 seconds or less. The victim’s physical condition and potential obstacles must still be taken into consideration.”
Action Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electric, Inc. believes that safety in all industry and commercial settings is critical and necessary for public safety. While emergency showers and emergency eyewash stations are not generally discussed on a daily basis, one needs to remember that you may not realize what you need till you actually need it. If it is not there at the time you really need it, you could suffer burns, loss of sight, or some other type of permanent damage to your person. No employer wants that scenario. OSHA has definitive guidelines in place to help you determine what is required by law for your company in the best-accepted standards of emergency equipment. While plumbing equipment is normally about faucets, tubs, toilets, showers, and more; be sure to stay educated about safety in the workplace.
If you are considering replacing toilets, sinks, faucets, showerheads, hardware, and any of your outdated emergency eyewash or shower stations, you have come to the right place. Call Action Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electric, Inc. in Sun Prairie, WI: (608) 837-3638 and speak to one of our qualified, certified staff about your specific needs.
Remember that we also serve these nearby communities: Middleton, Verona, Monona, Cottage Grove, De Forest, Fitchburg, Waunakee, Oregon, Mt. Horeb, Marshall and Windsor.
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