Warm Water Storage Emergency Showers & Eye / Face Washes
1. Legal Standards for Emergency Showers and Eye Washes
Aadver International's products conform to the Legal Standards to ensure the recipient receives the most efficient safety treatment and the purchaser / employer can justify the Conformity Certificate of the equipment is in accordance with the specified Legal Standards
The Legal Standards controlling Emergency Safety Showers
a. Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems 2001 -Code L8.
Relevant info:- Clause 57(a) avoid water at temperatures between 20ºC to 45ºC (page 11). Emergency Showers and Eye Wash sprays are listed in - Appendix 1. “Recommended inspections frequencies for Risk Systems - Checklist 3 – (page 53).
b. Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 Relevant info; Tank construction and water fittings must be acceptable.
c. Health and Safety First Aid Regulations 1981- Code L74 (This regulation is the basis of British health and safety law).
Relevant info:- Employers' Duties. - Legal Duties.
- 1st para; the Health and Safety first aid regulations 1981-1 "require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment".
- 2nd para; what is adequate would
depend on the circumstances in the workplace".
The employer is responsible to provide proof that their equipment is "adequate and appropriate".
2. Employers Options
OPTION 1. Prove their equipment is "adequate and appropriate" by obtaining Laboratory Test Certificates which to show their safety units are providing the correct amount of water, sufficient spray pattern at the correct water temperature to flush off any chemicals their employees may encounter.
OPTION 2. Provide equipment meeting the specifications of the American National Standards Z 358. 1 -2009 for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment. This document contains 28 pages of information dealing with the minimum performance requirements for this equipment. Issued first in 1981, revised in 1990, 1998, 2004 & 2009 It was prepared by the Emergency Eye Wash and Shower Group of the industrial Safety Equipment Association. These members are thoroughly knowledgeable in the design, installation and use of this safety equipment.
CONCLUSION. Option 1 is time consuming and costly, also any deviations in the relevant chemicals will require re-analyzing. Aadver International has been informed that the HSE will accept the ANSI Standards. Therefore, for external showers, the following information specifies the minimum requirements to conform to the ANSI Standards and to the above Clauses 1a to 1b inclusive.
3. Water Flow & Temperature Requirements
ANSI requires a minimum flow of water from the shower of 75.7 litres per minute for a period of 15 minutes min., Clause 4.4.2(4), this is 1134 litres of water. The eye / face wash 11.4 litres per minute, also for 15 minutes, Clause 6.1.6, a further 171 litres. Total water required 1307 litres, not including a hand drench unit.
Mains water may be taken into account, to supplement the shower, if this is reliable.
Water must not be heated above body temperature of 35º. Mains portable water can be between 5ºC / 6 ºC. To remain under water at this temperature could further endanger a person who is most probably already in a state of traumatic shock. If the mains water is contributing towards the shower out put, the minimum storage tank capacity cannot be less than 915 litres if the temperature is to remain at 15ºC to 20ºC If the tank is any smaller than 915 litres the water temperature will be lower than 15ºC.
The period of 15 minutes is the time stated by the Industrial Safety Equipment Association as a minimum time requirement, a shorter period may not flush off the chemicals
The EN Standards for Indoor Laboratory Standards are quoting similar specifications
4. Shower Spray Pattern
The water spray pattern is essential to ensure the whole body is covered. ANSI specify that the shower rose must be positioned 2083 to 2438 mm above the platform level and the spray pattern shall have a minimum diameter of 508 mm at 1524 mm above the surface on which the user stands. ANSI specification Clause 4.4.2 Illustration 1
If a shower is using a tank to store water it essential that the spray pattern does not vary with the hydraulic head of the water within the tank. The spray pattern must be constant to meet the standards
5. Eye / Face Wash
The eyes and face should be bathed with a water flow of 11.4 litres minimum per minute for 15 minutes at a "tepid" temperature. The standard also calls for a minimum spray pattern to ensure the eyes and face are adequately covered. A template is provided to ensure the spray pattern meets the required specification. ANSI Specification Clause 6.1.8 - Illustration 3c.
A chemical splash to the eyes will most probably impair the person's vision. Therefore the spray pattern must be adequate to ensure the eyes and face areas all received a gentle flood of "tepid" water. The correct spray pattern is essential to provide this facility. The person must not have to search for water at this critical time.
6. Wash the body for 15 minutes
Eye wash units, eye / face wash units and shower units are all required to supply water at 15ºC minimum and to last for a minimum period of 15 minutes. Clauses 4.1.4, 5.3.2, 6.1.6 & 7.1.1 A domestic shower at home flows approx. 14 litres/minute at a temperature of 45ºC. If an accident occurs at work and the person is sprayed with an aggressive chemical they are required to stay in shower which is flowing at 75.6 litres/ minute ( which 5½ times greater than a domestic shower and this must last for 15 minutes). If the injured person receives mains water supply only, unheated at 5ºC / 6ºC the body temperature will drop below its ability to compensate and the person could then enter into thermal shock making his situation more serious.
7. Simultaneous use of shower & eye wash, "by the same user"
The standards specify that the components of a combination shower shall be positioned so that each component may be used simultaneously by the same user. Clause 7.4.4 and 4.1.5.
If a tank shower is installed the eye / face wash must be inside the shower structure and positioned so that the operator can use both the shower and the eyewash simultaneously.
8. Employers liability
With legislation clearly being issued regarding Emergency Safety Showers it is imperative that Company Management must be able to prove that the equipment they have installed will meet an approved Standard. The publication of the Health and Safety Enforcement of Policy Statement, January 2002 (21 pages) clearly defines that Company Directors, Company Managers etc will be held personally liable for breaches in the Health and Safety at Work Act. This is obviously a situation to be avoided.
The published EN European Standards for indoor safety shower units are similar to the ANSI Standards. Therefore no excuse will be acceptable for units which are not adequate to perform to a standard. Cost priority basis will not be accepted for equipment which does not meet specification
Food and Drinks Manufacturing -HSE Data sheet No. 29 specifies Emergency Washing Facilities (e.g. Showers and Eye Wash stations ) are to be used to give "adequate control measures" where hazardous chemicals are used.
9. Summary - Why demand conformity certificates are compatible with legal standards
Company Directors, Company Managers and Company decision-makers are now responsible for employers safety under the Employers Liability Act. Where Emergency Safety Showers and Eye Wash equipment is installed they need to be able to specified what standards this equipment conforms to.
i. The European EN Standard - Part 5 "Plumbed-in Body Showers for Production Facilities" is still in the planning stage and may not be available for another two years before publication. However the EN 15154 - Part 1 "Plumbed-in Body Showers for Laboratories" specifies a very similar specification to ANSI.Z.358.1 - 2009
ii. "Self-certification" for companies via approval certificates from an accepted laboratory will specify the amount of water, temperature, spray pattern etc., that is required from safety showers / eye washes, in the possibility of a chemical instant. These are obtainable but they can be expensive and take considerable time for a company to obtain.
iii. ANSI.Z 358.1 - 2009 for Emergency Eye Wash and Shower Equipment is the only fully explanatory document specifying the regulations for this equipment. Prepared by a section of the Industrial Safety Equipment Association it was first published in 1981, revised in 1990, 1998, 2004 and again in 2009. It is accepted by the Health and Safety Executive and most European Countries. The criteria is very simple. If the ANSI Standard is quoted, by a manufacture, the equipment must fully meet the standards specified. There is no halfway situation (unless specifically recorded). Either the equipment does or does not meet the specification laid down in ANSI.Z. 358.1- 2009 .
10. Compendium of major changes for the Legionella code of practice & the ANSI revisions 2009
i. To conform to the Legionella Bacteria Code Practice and the ANSI Standards there has to be an adjustment on the range of water temperature. The Legionella Code prohibits the storage of water between 20ºC and 45ºC. The ANSI Standards allow water temperature, under the terminology of "tepid", to be used between 15ºC and 35ºC. To conform to both standards the water temperature has to be maintained in a storage tank shower between 15ºC and 20ºC. Therefore if the mains water supply is reliable to refill the tank during operation the tank capacity cannot be less than 915 litres. If the mains water supply is unreliable the tank capacity cannot be less than 1310 litres
ii. The Eye Wash equipment within Clause 7.4.4 & 4.1.5 of the ANSI Standards must be able to be used simultaneously by the same person in the shower. Therefore the eye wash must now be placed inside the structure of the shower to allow this to be possible.