Emergency eye wash stations allow for prompt decontamination by flushing dangerous chemicals from the eyes quickly and safely. A properly installed and maintained eye wash station can be the crucial difference between a minor accident and a potential loss of eyesight. In high-risk industries, eye wash stations are an essential first aid response tool in emergency situations.
Eye Wash Station Testing & Inspections
What Do Eye Wash Stations Do?
Generally, eye wash stations are either wall mounted or tap mounted. A good quality station will activate in a second or less, flush both eyes at once and work hands-free. Water flows from these stations at a low velocity to prevent further harm to eyes.
Why Do I Need an Eye Wash Station?
Reports show that around fifty thousand eye injuries occur in the workplace every year. Of these injuries, sixty percent occur in the fishing, foresting, mining and construction industries. Men are also far more likely to suffer eye injuries in the workplace with eighty seven percent of eye injuries occurring in men. Eye injuries can be extremely severe and costly to businesses. Constant maintenance of eye wash stations is necessary to ensure health and safety of all workers.
What Are My Obligations?
Australian Standard AS4775-2007 outlines several requirements for employers with regards to eye wash stations. Importantly, a licensed plumber must inspect eye stations each year and fit permanent tag.
- Eye wash stations must be located within fifteen metres or within ten seconds of hazardous areas.
- Clear lighting is required to be installed around eye wash stations.
- A manager must activate the eye wash station weekly to ensure it is operating correctly.
- Eye wash stations must be fitted with correct and easily identifiable signage.
- Pathways to the station can never be obstructed.
- Stations must be located on the same level or height as the potential hazard.
- Eye stations must pump at least 1.5 litres of water a minute with a temperature between 15 and 37 degrees Celsius for no less than 15 minutes at a time.
Along with this, the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) states that accountability for the safety of workers lies with the PCBU (person conducting business or operations) who is responsible for organising annual testing by a licensed plumber.
Call Hughes Plumbing Contractors for Your Annual Inspection
Properly maintained eye wash stations are essential to protect the health of your employees who work with harmful substances. No matter what industry you are in, you must follow government laws and regulations to maintain a safe workplace and avoid fines.