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How To Maintain And Clean An Emergency Eyewash Station

Nov. 20, 2021

In this guide, we'll introduce you to some best practices on how to keep your eyewash units in top condition so you can rest assured that they'll be ready for action should the unthinkable occur.

 

Why is maintenance so important?

Eyewash stations are vital in any workplace where hazardous, corrosive substances are handled. Using an eyewash station in an emergency situation can help prevent scarring, permanent injury and blindness.


Improper maintenance can lead to many dangers, which we have detailed below.

Corrosion

Over time, metals containing iron that come into contact with water tend to oxidise or rust. This can lead not only to contamination of the water used in the eyewash station, but also to damage to the equipment itself.

Emergency Eyewash Station

Emergency Eyewash Station     

Corrosion can lead to holes in the pipes supplying water to the eyewash station, which can lead to leaks, which can cause the eyewash station to discharge water under insufficient pressure, reducing its ability to properly flush the user's eyes.

 

Infection

Bacteria, amoebas and other disease-causing organisms thrive in stagnant water. If the eyewash station is not flushed and activated regularly for testing, the water in the system will begin to harbour organisms such as Legionella, Pseudomonas and Echinococcus amoebae, which can lead to serious infections such as conjunctivitis if they get into the eyes.

    

Clogging

Sometimes dust, dirt and foreign objects can accumulate in the eyewash station, especially if it has not been operated for a long period of time. This debris can cause contamination and lead to blockages in the pipes.

   

Testing

In accordance with ANSI regulations, as well as, where emergency eyewash is concerned, state units must be tested regularly and there are good reasons for the guidance of various other agencies.

 

Regular testing not only ensures that the unit is functioning properly - it also helps to prevent water stagnation and stagnation within the unit, and helps to flush any debris collected through the pipes.

Portable Eyewash Station

 Portable Eyewash Station

In addition to the weekly function test required by ANSI regulations, it is recommended that all eyewash units are visually inspected once a week to ensure they are free of debris and in good clean condition.

 

The water stored in the portable eyewash station should be replaced at least every 120 days. The water should also be treated with a water preservative to help prevent the growth of micro-organisms.

 

Cleaning up

As with any safety equipment, it is vital to keep the eyewash station clean and hygienic. This will prevent the build-up of harmful, infection-causing micro-organisms.

 

To clean the eyewash station, use a simple solution of household detergent and hot water. Apply the solution to the unit with a soft sponge or cloth before rinsing thoroughly, making sure to rinse off any remaining soap residue.

 

If cost allows, it is best to purchase stainless steel eye washers. Stainless steel is resistant to corrosion due to the thin layer of chromium oxide on the surface. This layer protects the iron-rich steel beneath from reacting with air and rusting.

If you want to get more information about the tips on how to maintain and clean emergency eye wash stations, welcome to contact us today or request a quote.  



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