Tips for Selecting the Right Emergency Safety Shower for Your Workplace

When it comes to selecting the right emergency safety shower, there are several restrictions and guidelines to keep in mind if you want to be compliant with regulations.

For example, in order to meet the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 standard, an emergency safety shower must provide tepid water. It should also be able to activate quickly and easily, and flow for at least 15 minutes.

To ensure a safe workplace, it’s important to choose the right emergency safety shower for your site-specific circumstances. While there is no “one size fits all” solution for every industry, keep the following in mind when you get started:

1. Have you checked the water supply for your emergency safety shower and eyewash equipment?

ANSI requires safety showers to provide 20 U.S. gallons (76 liters) per minute of potable water for 15 minutes. But this can prove challenging. As industrial facilities expand to increase production, some parts of the facility are naturally farther away from utility supplies. These remote locations can lead to reduced water supply pressure, unreliable flow or even no connection at all.

Hughes Emergency Tank Shower with Eye and Face Wash, 317 Gallon – Model no. QS1200

Justrite supplies emergency tank showers from Hughes Safety Showers as a solution for these situations. Its integrated water supply tank meets the ANSI flow rate without depending on a connection to the utility water network.

2. Will the emergency safety shower be in a climate with extreme ambient temperatures?

Companies build factories close to their raw materials. They are often located in extreme environments. For instance, factories in the northern U.S. or Canada experience temperatures below 40 F (5 C). In deep southwestern states, ambient temperatures can reach higher than 104 F (40 C). ANSI requires emergency safety equipment deliver tepid water in the range 60-100 F (16-38 C).

High temperature water will scald the injured person. Because older adults have thinner skin, even a brief exposure to hot water may cause scalding. At the least, it will prevent an injured person from staying in the flow for the recommended amount of time to thoroughly flush the skin.

In contrast, extremely cold water can cause hypothermia or thermal shock. It is also a natural human reaction to want to leave the safety shower if the water is too cold. The longer the chemicals remain on the skin, the more damage may result.

Emergency Safety Showers in Extremely High Temperatures

Hughes Drench Shower, Self-Draining, Floor Mount, Stainless Steel Pipe – Model no. SD18GS

Solar radiation may raise the temperature of water in standing pipes to as high as 122 F (50 C). Upon activation, the shower will give a deluge of hot water.

Hughes self-draining safety showers are designed to reduce the risk of shocking or scalding an injured person when activated. To prevent heat from building up, standing water drains from the emergency safety shower pipes when it is not in use. Instead, fresh tepid water discharges when the shower activates.

Emergency Safety Showers in Extremely Low Temperatures

The water supply drops below the tepid range in frigid climates. If the ambient temperature is below freezing and the water freezes in the pipes, the safety shower equipment will be useless in an emergency.

Hughes freeze protected safety showers feature trace tape heating and polyurethane foam insulation to prevent water from freezing. Drench showers and combination shower models are available. Freeze protected showers require a minimum ambient operating temperature of minus 4 F (minus 20 C) or above.

Temperature controlled safety showers in cold climates use heaters to create a hot water supply. Thermostatically controlled mixing valves maintain water at a constant tepid temperature.

In extremely cold climates where a constant tepid water supply is not guaranteed, Hughes offers custom polar emergency tank showers. These include a temperature-controlled cubicle that helps protect the injured person from the elements while using the shower and waiting for emergency support.

Hughes Temperature Controlled Safety Shower and Eye/Face Wash, 79 Gallon, Stainless Steel, 240V C1D2 – Model no. TC100KS11K-2H

3. Will the emergency safety shower meet important ANSI standard criteria?

Location of emergency safety equipment matters. ANSI specifies that emergency safety showers should be in a prominent position within 10 seconds (or 55 feet away) reach of a person from where the incident occurs. Ideally, locate it on the same level as the hazard, so the injured person doesn’t have to navigate steps up or down.

Keeping pathways to the shower clear and unobstructed is vital in case of impaired vision. Well-lit, visible signage helps an injured person find the shower in the minimum time.

It should also be easy to operate safety shower and eyewash equipment, even with impaired vision. The control valve should switch from ‘off’ to ‘on’ to flow water within one second of activation. Water flow should continue without the need for the operator to use their hands, until the valve is intentionally closed.

Contact Justrite Today to Learn More About Emergency Safety Shower Equipment

For more than a century, the safety experts at Justrite have kept workers safe. Today, we offer our customers the single most comprehensive portfolio of safety products in the industry, including a wide range of Hughes Safety emergency safety shower and eyewash equipment.

Need a custom engineered solution for your unique application or industry? We can help. Contact our team today to get started.

For a more in-depth analysis of the importance of safety showers, download the free white paper from Hughes Safety Showers – Working with Hazardous Chemicals: How Safety Showers Can Save Lives