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Webinar: Why Emergency Equipment Is Needed: Laws, Codes, & Standards

ByMatthew Gavia | Published: October 9, 2018
Presented by Speakman Safety Products
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Key Takeaways

With so many ANSI standards and OSHA requirements out there, how does one know when or even where emergency equipment is needed? Learn key factors to consider when reviewing your facility or work site to help you determine...

Jamie: Hello and a warm welcome to everybody. We would love to wish everyone a good morning, a good afternoon, or a good evening depending on where you are in the world today. My name is Jamie and I’m one of the co-founders of Safeopedia. Safeopedia’s mission is to support the EHS professionals, operational folks and any safety-minded individuals through free, educational content, tools and resources. A huge thank you to those dedicated professionals for the great work they do on a daily basis.

Today, we’re very proud to present Why Emergency Equipment is Needed: Laws, Codes & Standards. This Safeopedia webinar has been made possible by Speakman Safety Products, a valued member of Whether you wear, sell or manufacture safety equipment, SafetyNetwork is for you. It’s your personal safety community and resource center, with partners consisting of the best safety equipment manufacturers and distributors on the planet. SafetyNetwork demands excellence. Demand SafetyNetwork.

It is now my pleasure to introduce to you today’s presenter, Matthew Gavia. Matthew brings more than 19 years of sales and management experience. He manages the Western United States safety sales and its network of sales representatives, along with the key industrial, and safety distributors and end-user customers. He is knowledgeable in the industrial, health and safety markets, and is part of a team out of California, managing health and safety buying groups and design-build firms. I now invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the presentation. With that, Matt, please take it away.

Matthew: Thank you very much, sir.

Hey, everybody. Thank you for showing up today and giving us some time to go over this. Let’s get started.

You guys probably have seen this sign or something similar. It’s a universal sign for emergency showers and eyewashes. This presentation is based on this sales tool and survey that we use to help educate customers about eyewash shower and safety.

According to OSHA, you can see that we have a standard involved here along with the ANSI standard. One of the true interesting points here is that an actual eyewash injury can be one of the more expensive accidents to happen in a facility. As you can see, it’s about $300,000, so that adds to the importance, along with the injury itself, to help prevent these things from happening. Really, it’s a race against time. We’ll talk about why we always say that. But, unlike an impact or an actual damaging blunt force type of injury, a chemical burn where you’re using hazardous chemicals, we got to get the eye flushed, the skin flushed as quickly as possible to remove it.

Primary protection. Everybody has seen these and understand that, really, eye protection starts with PPEs. Everyone’s required to use them in certain instances—in most instances, I should say. This is the primary protection. Eyewash safety and our products are secondary, but both are required. As a secondary protection to PPE, the showers and eyewashes are to the standards and codes of these organizations. Everybody on this call is somewhat familiar with them. They’re easy to look up and understand. They’re not very complex, but they do require a certain care.

Responsibility. We have a responsibility to provide the proper products. Out-of-the-box performance; making sure once the customer gets it, it’s good to go; a material that’s suitable, meaning in the environment that it’s going to be placed in, it’s going to work properly for a long period of time; third-party certification to the ANSI standard. We use third-party for everything that we have, that we ship. That’s basically our responsibility.

End users. Part of this presentation and the surveys that we do, we help the end user, but it is their ultimate responsibility to identify the hazards; the equipment placement and relationship to where they’re using hazardous materials; the installation; making sure they are used by a proper plumber, or installed by a proper plumber or professional; water adequacy, make sure it’s potable water, the quality and also the temperature. We’ll talk about tepid water further on the road here, but that is going to be the end user’s ultimate responsibility; also goes into water pressure, which we’ll talk about.

Testing and inspection, that needs to be done weekly. We’ll talk more about that, but that is up to the end user. That needs to be documented either on a card on the unit, it can be done remotely, it can be done from paper checklists, however, you want it be done, but if/when OSHA shows up, you need to have that available for them to review, and past years as well.

Then, of course, maintenance. If anything gets ran into it, forklift backs into it, whatever, that also has to be taken care of by the customer, of course. We’re talking about a race against time. Ten seconds to safety is kind of a rule of thumb that OSHA and ANSI put out there. So 10 seconds is—they used to have a distance, but the reality is every workspace, every area is organized differently. It’s set up differently. They do different processes in different areas. It changes throughout different lead programs, and this, that and the other. So wherever they’re using hazardous chemicals, wherever they’re using anything on the SDS sheet that says, “Hey, you need to flush for 15 mins,” skin, eyes, whatever it may be in that section, you need to have a path, an open path. It can’t be through a doorway, it has to be on the same level in order to get to the eyewash.

Emergency eyewash shall be accessible and no more than 10 secs to reach. The equipment should be located at the same level, free of obstruction. That also means doorways. A lot of the time, they’ll say, “Well, we have this door open all the time or most of the time,” or, “We even have this doorway, but they took the hinges off the door. It still is not going to be to code or to regulation if you have it going through a doorway into another room. Even if there’s no door on it, it’s still one thing that you want to take into consideration when you plan it out.

I talked earlier about the temperature of the water. To the ANSI standard, we need to have that in the tepid range, which is between 60 and 100-degree Fahrenheit. What that means is, depending on where you are in the country, your groundwater can be—I’m based out of California so, out here, groundwater is always 65 or so, roughly, once you’re up in the mountains. Other places, it can get up into 40s, 50s at best, sometimes. You have to take that into consideration and measure that when you’re setting it up. It says, “Consult Medical Advisor for optimal range.” That range, usually, is about upper 80.

Why do we need tepid water? Well, water’s too cold. If you try to hop in there and it’s 50 degrees or 60-degree water, even—it’s going to inhibit someone from staying in there the full 15 mins. They’re not going to be able to really handle it or not want to handle it to get the full flush. We have products and we do surveys, and we recommend thermostatic mixing valves which, if it’s an indoor application, it works fine. Again, you have to have warm water going to it or hot water going to it to make it work properly. But, at that point, where you can have it set at 85 degrees/90 degrees, whatever you want, that would take care of that.

Now if it’s based outside, if it’s exposed to the elements, we have freeze valves that prevent it from freezing, heat trace units to keep pipes from freezing as well and then thermostatic mixing to keep it in the tepid range. We have solutions for just about every obstacle. It’s too hot, is the other side of it. Say it’s outside—Arizona, we had a test once and we tested the water. It was probably mid-105-degree day. We tested the water. The first, probably, 30 secs of that water that came out was over 125 degrees. That creates the scald issue. We have a scald valve available, and we identify it, that can basically bleed the valve. We have an air gap on ours too that lets less water in the chamber. A scald valve is, basically, a mechanical valve that drips the water out once it gets over, I think, 100 degrees. It starts dripping out and clears the chamber out so that it keeps a fresh, cooler batch of water in there. It’s a great little solution as well.

To the ANSI standard, again, testing. Testing is weekly. We do tons of surveys and people say, “Oh, we tested it weekly.” Okay, if you test it weekly, you’ve got to document it. If somebody says, “Oh, we’re testing it,” documentation is key, the verification of the operation as well. Basically, we’ve seen units that weren’t even connected to water and it’s been there for years. That is a very rare scenario, but it happens.

Combination units must be tested simultaneously so that there’s no drop in pressure. Activate one, okay, the shower works fine and then I close it. Activate the other and then the bowl works fine. It has to be both so that we know both will be to code. It also ensures the flushing. It keeps the sediment, it keeps the water clear, it keeps the gunk and stagnant water into the pipes. I think everybody has probably seen one when they do activate one and the first 20/30 secs is just this corroded rust water. In an emergency, that’s the last thing that you’re going to want to stick your face in, but that is, unfortunately, sometimes what happens. Testing it weekly takes care of that problem.

One of the things, too, is try and do the tests when the equipment is running. When the factory or plant is running, we would have a bunch of guys who would do it first thing in the morning before all equipment was running and all water processes were going and say, “Oh, it works fine.” But you do it midday, everything’s running, all the water is being drawn and, all of a sudden, the water pressure is almost nothing. That’s one thing you’ve got to take into consideration as well.

Risk assessment. This is the stuff that we’re brought in to kind of help you work with and stuff you guys can probably do on your own as well or probably somewhat regularly. Identify the chemicals being used in the area, review SDS sheets. Every chemical, everything you guys bring in from WD-40 to hydrochloric acid has an SDS sheet. Section 4 is where you’ll find the safety information and how to treat things if it gets on people. Do they require emergency showers and eyewash? That’ll tell you. It will let you know if it needs to be flushed for 15 mins. Can the need of the PPE be engineered out, meaning can you move or eliminate a hazard. Can you consolidate areas? Can you just go to something that doesn’t need a chemical in the process? Whatever. We can help do that as well from our history of working with so many various companies.

How many would affected by an incident? If you’ve got a floor shop area where it’s 25/20 guys working in a parts cleaning area and there is the opportunity for a big spill, a volume of chemicals, of slip and fall of many people or a spray from a high-pressure system, you’ve got to take that into consideration. One combination station right there at one entrance is probably not going to really suffice if 5, 6 guys get hit at once. That’s something we can help explore and I’m sure you guys have taken it into consideration already. These are the symbols. These are the universal symbols kind of adopted a few years ago. If the chemical or the SDS sheet, or the bucket or the drum itself has this on, even if it’s in storage, like we store it here, we kind of fill it here, you still need to have the eyewash available.

The SDS, as I was saying, Section 4 is going to give you all the information you need. The flushing of the eyes and the skin, it lets you know. Another question is do I need a shower or an eyewash? It’s going to really come down to the amount of chemical being used in the area and we can help you with that. Common hazards also are looked throughout. Chemical storage units, every manufacturer has a bunch of these everywhere. If you’re storing it there, you need to have it there. This is points of use, where people can become contaminated, or have a spill or anything like that, you need to have it.

One thing that is often forgotten is the janitorial closets. There are some in every facility and you do have to have it there. That’s where you’re ready to mix and ready to use, where chemicals are stored, your concentrates. We have products that can help you with that as well.

Bulk storage areas, this is going to be key. Again, even if it’s just storage, say, there’s an accident, say, it falls, it gets knocked over and you’ve got a big area for slip and fall or chemical exposure, you need to have it there in order to help.

PPE. Wherever the guys are using the PPEs, obviously, you’re going to need to have eyewash protection and safety there. Again, PPEs, that’s primary protection, ours are secondary, both are required.

Battery charging and maintenance. This is a new directive from a couple of years ago, but the forklift maintenance, industrial battery charging, whether using liquid batteries to charge, for leakage, explosion, malfunction and all of that is there, so they need to have them around. So whether you’re looking around, whether you’re doing a forklift or your car, a big old maintenance, wherever you have those charging stations, you need to have eyewash.

So these are some of our solutions. All of this information at the end, we can get to you. As you can see, various situations will cause for different products. Thermostatic mixing valves, we talked about earlier; eyewash faucets, which for labs, testing areas are great; we have portables; signs and accessories as well to help finish off if you guys have existing units you don’t need to replace.

Just some of the products that we have there. The eyewash pedestals, our Optimus line there, you can see on top, the stainless steel pedestal. It gives you an eyewash and facewash all at once. Some folks ask, “Well, what’s the difference? When do I need one versus the other?” Well, think if you get splashed with a chemical in your eye, it’s probably on your face as well, so this gives you more coverage and a little bit pattern to clear off your face as well as your eyes. We have standard eyewash as well. These goes over the basic coverage that you need.

Drench shower is going to provide you the full-body rinse. The volume of chemicals, spray exposures, high-pressure hoses that have—in filling or transferring a product or chemical, this is where you’ll have your need for drench showers. It’s going to deliver 20 gallons per minute. It’s quite a bit of water. I don’t know if everybody has seen a drench shower in action, but it needs a lot of water, it uses a lot of water. We can help you work with that.

Combination stations. In areas where you need eyewash, and in most industrial applications, we have solution there. Now this unit here, you might notice this is our Optimus unit as well. Our Optimus unit is actually ADA and standard all out of the box. It’s just a simple adjustment of the pipe, so you have one solution in those as well. Needs to operate simultaneously or individually, same way, it needs to be tested.

Portable eyewash. If there’s an area where you can’t get water to or it might be too expensive, we have portable eyewash stations available, fully self-contained. The top one there is a 9 gallon. That one gives you the full 15 mins of flushing, hands-free operation, wall-mount, whatever. You can use it, fill it up weekly and dump it or you can use—we have a solution to have it last up to about 3 months to keep the water potable and usable.

Eyewash faucets. This is a very unique product to Speakman. This top one here, if you notice, it has the faucet – standard single flush faucet – along with the eyewash shelf. Once activated, the only thing that’s going to be working is the eyewash. They have 2 separate waterways. There are 2 separate sources of water when it’s installed, so they work independently of each other. So, say, someone’s doing a test utilizing the faucet part, someone goes over flips the switch, it gives you the eyewash.

Now this can be set up with the thermostatic mixing valve or, if it’s just standard, it will be just be tapped into the cold. You might have seen some units out there that—our little screw-on version of it. Those are 2-step activation, plus that second step, if you actually turn on the hot water instead of the cold, you can damage your eyes that way as well. This is really going to be for any application where you can replace it with that. It’s going to be, really, the way to be full compliant to that situation, so pretty much the only option on that. Right below it, I mentioned the janitor’s closet. This can replace the standard janitorial closet sink. It can be attached to the wall, it can be releasable as a drench hose and eyewash or it can be fastened to the wall. Still 1-step activation. It would be tapped into the cold. You can set it up with the thermostatic mixing valve as well if you wish.

As we’re talking, we do a lot of surveys and we offer this service that, along with you, we can walk through the facility, take a look. You can do this yourself with this. This whole presentation, we do have a pamphlet that mirrors it to a certain extent, much smaller, obviously. You can contact me later and I can send some of those out to you. But, if you have a big facility, we’re more than happy to come out.

The real truth to this is these are the questions that you need to ask throughout the facility. The number one is the 10-second rule. Wherever the employees are working with hazardous materials, are they within 10 secs to safety? The next part is going to be the tepid water. Do you have water that’s consistently in the range of 60 to 100 degrees? Is the equipment tested weekly?

The other part too is that with weekly testing. Is it tested weekly properly, number one? Then, when they do find an issue, are those issues being addressed? It’s one thing to test weekly and it’s another thing to say—OSHA comes in and says, “Hey, are you testing those weekly?” “Yeah.” If they do a sample test and says, “Well, why is your water pressure off?” or, “Why is this thing broken?” It’s one thing to test and it’s another thing to test, “Oh, this is wrong with it, we need to fix it or repair it,” and then actually doing that. It goes hand in hand with that. When you do find something that’s not quite right, make sure you get it fixed.

Does the unit function properly with hands-free operation? We’ve been into places and they’re like, “Well, it’s kind of dusty, so we put a plastic hairnet over it until we need to use it.” Well, that makes it 2 steps because you have to remove that then activate. That’s the kind of stuff that we’ve seen and that, sometimes, people try to get away with.

Then, is it identified properly? Is there enough signage? Some of these, the ones that we’ve seen in some of the older facilities, it’s been there forever, pretty much everybody knows where it’s at, what it is, but you have newer people in there or visitors. If it’s not signed properly, they’re not going to be able to find it when they need it. If those 5 things are pretty much taken care of, you’re going to be at full compliance.

When we do a survey, we go through, basically, all of those steps and a few more. What comes out is something that would be a report that would look like this. This is just one simple front page of it. Most of them are about 3 or 4 pages. We’ve done some that have up to 20/25 pages. It just depends on the size of the facility, but this is kind of the information that you’d end up with.

In area, we would walk it with one of your team members, or one your safety guys or whoever. Know what the areas that you guys call it so that you guys can understand and reference back to it. The observation that we make as far as what’s the current state there. The ANSI recommendation that needs to be followed.

The next part would be the product recommendation. We would make that recommendation as well. This is a picture of what we recommended. This is a picture of the area or the photo that we’re talking about. Then, some comments next to it would be anything from installation, suggestions, to if it’s working properly, hey, it just needs a sign, or it needs to be cleaned regularly or whatever suggestion would be if there was no need for replacement. This information, we would turn over to you along with whoever distributor or whoever would present you with a quote for the product. With that quote, they would be able to fully understand the scope of the project as opposed to just looking at a quote for at least $10,000 worth of eyewash stations. How can we afford that? These are the reasons why it is an issue and the reality behind it.

For showing up today and sticking through my long-winded speech here, we do have a little special offer going, a free on-site emergency shower and eyewash survey. Give me a call directly and we can set it up. We have a nationwide network of reps and sales agents that can come out and have the apps on their phones or their iPads come out and do the surveys for you, along with you. We can work with whomever you’d like. We can get that set up and get that going. You guys can make the call as far as if you need our help or not, as far as the size and the scope, but if you have any questions or anything like that, feel free to give me a call, shoot me an email and I’m happy to answer any questions.

Jamie: Great. Thanks, Matt. Yeah, we’ve had quite a few questions before the webinar and quite a few come in during the webinar, so thank you, Matt, for that great educational presentation. Let’s dive right in.

First question comes from Sally. I guess it’s from me as well. Is your training applicable to Canadian laws and regulations?

Matthew: Well, Canada uses—yeah, they mirror OSHA, so yeah. Especially even the ANSI standard as well, so the answer is yes.

Jamie: Here’s a question from Emanuel. I’m on a high-rise building construction project. What kind of emergency equipment might be needed to be provided by the employers? Interesting question.

Matthew: Well, you would have to probably—I’m assuming you don’t have plumbing yet. If that’s the case, a portable unit for your crew is usually required. We have a lot of construction companies who would put a 9-gallon on every service truck or every construction vehicle so that they have it readily available. You figure out how many cans of WD-40, or spray paint or whatever type of chemical is being carried on that truck. That’s a storage container so you do have to have access to eyewash. So, yes, it would need some portable up there.

Jamie: Thank you, Matt. Alright, Hanza has a question. I think one was answered. Are you able to come and help us or educate us and our members by training us? Maybe that goes along with the survey a little bit. But do you provide training as well?

Matthew: Yeah, we do. Some of it—it all depends on what needs to be done and what organization it is. We do offer training. We, obviously, do survey. We can do surveys for pay too. As you can see, we do charge for them as well if it’s an instance there, but yeah, we do it. We offer a lot of free trainings. We can do it either like this and this type of webinar format or we could do it live as well.

Jamie: Thanks, man. Sam has a question related to training here. What kind of and how often should training be provided to workers?

Matthew: Well, there’s no—it’s not like heat stress training where you have to do it every year and you have to document it. What we’ve seen a lot of folks do and offer is, I think, a yearly training as far as understanding the protocol of using it, especially, the guys who are going to be in charge of maintaining them and doing the testing. Also, I know there’s a lot of safety professionals that, part of their onboarding process, they’ll do a quick training for eyewash and then also do a walkthrough. A lot of folks do walkthroughs for egress in case of emergency in fire, so they’ll do a walkthrough for eyewash safety so everybody understands where it’s at and they can check that off their list.

Jamie: Alright. I’ll skip ahead to Sergio’s question as it is also related. You mentioned documentation, Sergio is asking, “What testing documentation is required to be filled?” I guess when you’re performing a flush, what kind of documentation is required?

Matthew: Well, every unit that we sell come with a little fiberglass card that can be zip-tied to it. It basically is just an initial and a date, who tested it and when. That’s kind of the most basic. They have software; they even have services that have come out and do it regularly; that can also use barcode and it can be in a central database, easy for access. Also there are ones that are just kept on a sheet. Just basically documented, it needs to be kept in a place where it’s readily available in case OSHA or anyone comes in and says, “Hey, let me see your eyewash testing schedule.”

Jamie: Alright. Thanks, Matt. Eric has a question. Do you offer any maintenance programs or a maintenance program?

Matthew: We don’t as a manufacturer, but we have partners that do depending on where you’re at. You can give me a call and I can connect you. By maintenance, I’m assuming she’s talking about maintenance and testing.

Jamie: I think so. Eric, if you could just chime in there, we’ll follow up with Matthew, but maintenance and testing.

Let’s see here. John has a question. What is the maximum distance from the hazard allowed? Is it really enforced by OSHA?

Matthew: Well, here’s the thing. What happens is this. Say, there’s a recordable incident and, of course, OSHA comes out. They’ll want to know, “Okay, where did this happen?” where did the actual accident happen. Then they’ll say, “Did you use eyewash?” Then they’ll say, “If you did, where is the nearest one?” That’s where it really comes into play.

Now where it will also come into play is if they’re doing a walkthrough and they’ll see that, “Hey, this is our area here and this is where the chemicals are being used,” say, it’s a parts cleaner or whatever, then they’ll kind of map it out. They have a general idea depending on—the thing that’s tricky is, look, you get into these spaces and you have machinery, you have aisles of storage containers, and this and that. You have all these impediments. That’s one thing they take into consideration, as well as you should when you’re setting it up. It’s really going to depend. That’s why you want to get ahead of it and have it set up properly before an incident happens.

As far as a maximum, there is no maximum or minimum, because they really wanted to get away from that number because people were like, “Well, I really want—okay, it says 100 ft, so, by flight of the crow, this is 100 ft, so, yeah, we’re fine, not taking into consideration all the machinery, and aisles and all this other stuff. That’s why they don’t want, really, a distance, they want more of a time.

Jamie: Yeah, super important. It’s 10 ft away, but you can’t readily get there. That brings up a question that really opened my eyes. We spoke here at Safeopedia a little bit internally, but you mentioned something that basically opened my eyes to the fact that what if there are multiple people in one small area? I’ve worked in many plants and facilities in my life and I don’t ever recall 4, 5, 6 eyewash shower stations. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Matthew: Yeah. What we see a lot of times, say, it’s an area, it’s a 20x20 area. What they would do, what we’re seeing is they don’t put them all in one section. They might have one or two if they have a large density of people, but they’ll probably space them as much as they can around the area. They also might have a couple of the showers, the eyewash showers and eyewash station combo units and then supplement them with a few of the portable units as well. It’s kind of a—every scenario is going to be slightly different. They want to space it so that people in different areas can use it, but you want to have access for enough people to use it and, really, it’s going to depend on the process that they’re doing in that area.

Jamie: Great. Thanks, Matt. Ryan has a question. He says, “I’m also from California. Do your products conform to the California lead-free requirement?”

Matthew: Yeah, they do. The only ones that really affects are the ones that are going to be the sink-based ones where you can actually drink water from it. We just so happen to use—and pretty much everybody will be since the whole country is going that way, to that standard, but for the most part, all of our parts for the eyewash are as well. But all the Eyesavers, where you can actually drink water from it, they are, so it’s not an issue for that.

Jamie: Thank you. Kelsey has a question. Are you able to purchase thermostatic mixing valves separately from an entire station?

Matthew: Yes. They are a separate part number, so if we go in and we do a survey and you’ve got a perfectly working unit there and all you need to do is the thermostatic mixing valves, we have them. We make them ourselves. They’re our own product and probably the best out in the market.

Jamie: Great, thank you. This is a super interesting question. Tyler asks, “Do these stations have alarms to notify or warn other workers when a station has been activated?” Great question, Tyler.

Matthew: Yes. Alarms are available. That was one of the accessories we were talking about on there, but, yes, they have an alarm, an alarm system where it’s audible, an alarm system that’s triggered, if they have an internal security system that can go to a certain spot and trigger that way. But, yeah, they’ve got them.

Jamie: But that’s not an OSHA regulation, is it?

Matthew: Not necessarily, but there are some stipulations when they’re working remotely, not tied into this ANSI standard, but there are some. If there’s a single person working in a remote area, there needs to be a certain—it’s not only for that, it’s for any emergency or any safety issue.

Jamie: I was just thinking, you know, somebody gets something splashed into their eyes, a notification for them—maybe they need extra help or getting over there and time is of the essence.

Matthew: Right. Petrochemical places are all alarmed up and have tons of alarm systems. If anything is activated that’s safety-related, it’s a big deal.

Jamie: Okay, thank you. Alright. Sarah has a question. Any suggestions for flushing/inspecting eyewash stations that don’t connect to a drain? We have some eyewashes that are not being flushed or tested because the water runs all over the floor. There are various fixed-in-place styles incorporated with the showers which can be flushed using a bucket, so any suggestions on flushing them?

Matthew: It depends on how they are installed. Our units have a higher drain point so you can put a bucket under the drain in the back. If it’s against the wall, you can have it turned sideways and into a bucket that way, if it’s a pedestal with nothing behind it, it can just go—it’s high enough to put into a bucket as well. So, yes, we have a way to do it. But if there is something there that’s already draining straight out to the floor, that’s the tough one. Sometimes they’ll put—when they’re doing testing, they can put a hose attachment to the back of it. You’ll still get some spillage, but not nearly as much as you would if you didn’t.

Jamie: Great, thank you. Kevin has a question. I would be grateful if you could kindly address the typical emergency equipment for a university research chemical engineering lab. What might be standard in a chemical engineering lab?

Matthew: For instance, we did some stuff with Caltech here in Pasadena. It’s an older facility, this one lab we were in. They had two ports. They had one for eyewash and then they had one for the regular faucets. With the Eyesaver that we showed earlier, the ones that had the dual water source that has a separate eyewash and faucet all-in-one, because you have gooseneck version of that too. You can send me a request and I can get you more info on that. But, yeah, we have a solution for it that is made specifically for those types of situations in labs.

What we’re able to do with Caltech was we could remove the eyewash and they can have a sink—they have a faucet and eyewash there, then we can remove the other actual faucet. Now they have, in one sink, two eyewashes and two faucets. It’s a space saver, it’s very utilitarian and it really adds safety to the area for them.

Jamie: Very cool. Actually, that dovetails right into Chris’ first question. This is pretty specific. Illinois inspectors will not allow faucet-mounted eyewashes. Can you tell us why yours would be approved?

Matthew: That’s the first we’ve heard them. We’ve never gotten pushback on ours. I don’t know if it’s a newer law or what. What they’re probably pushing back on are the ones that are not single step, that are not single source. The older versions and the non-compliant versions are screw-on ones. They might have a face piece with a screw-on. That makes it, again, a 2-step activation. You have to twist it to turn on the eyewash and then hit the water supply. That’s why it’s probably getting rejected. Ours is totally separate, totally different, separate activation. It’s made for the lab. If you need us to call or talk to anyone to clarify that, let me know.

Jamie: Great, thanks so much. Let’s see here. It looks like we’ve only got a couple more. If you do have any questions, get them in. Yeah, got a couple more here.

Sam asks, “How to decide on the size or number of spare equipment to manage emergencies in case of failure during an emergency?” So I think if an eyewash or a shower fails, what’s the backup plan and how do you decide on that?

Matthew: Usually, backups are portable-based because the only thing that’s going to fail is usually water supply. Something happens to the water supply, there’s an emergency, water gets shut off or there’s a main break or something like that, earthquake or whatever, usually having a few of the eyewash backups is going to be key for emergency preparedness. We’re in California, most of the municipalities participate in this program we have called, The Great California Shake-Up, which basically all about earthquake preparedness as we all wait for the next big one to hit, which will come any day. That’s really the only thing you can do.

As far as replacement parts or repair parts, not a lot. If you’re flushing regularly and doing all the regular testing and maintenance, there are not a lot of extras to be worried about, depends on the facility that you’re at. If it’s petrochemical, you have to do a turnaround or a shutdown, we have tank showers, big, portable tank showers that holds about 528 gallons that have an eyewash and shower in it, but those are required for them. It would be a bit of an overkill if you’re a door manufacturer or something. As far as that, the only real backup can be portables.

Jamie: Okay, great. Thank you, Matt. Alright. Alana has a question here. Do I have to worry about the pH level of my plumbed eyewash?

Matthew: Plumbed? No. You should be fine. If you’re testing regularly and you’re not allowing stagnant water to build up, you should be fine. The only thing that you’re going to—pH only comes into play when it’s a portable. Again, you would be checking that every 3 months for the water replacement.

Jamie: Perfect. Alright, it looks like this is—no, got a couple more here. Sorry, there’s no name on this one. What is the temperature of eyewash solution or water safe on the low end and the high end? So back to that tepid range. Can you talk a little bit about that, Matt?

Matthew: Sure. The tepid water range is going to be a low of 60 degrees. Most temperate climates have an average groundwater of about 65 or so. When you’re in a colder climate, that’s where that comes into play. The higher ones, again, if it’s outside—even when you have a portable outside on the back of truck all day, that’s going to warm up quite a bit as well, so that’s what you’re really going to have to be wary of. But, yeah, between 60 and 100 degrees.

Jamie: Alright, thank you. Steve looks like has the last question, so Steve is our winner. Do you offer and can you talk about tank showers for remote areas or areas that don’t have any plumbed water?

Matthew: Like I mentioned before, we do have a tank shower. It was actually OSHA’s product of the year for 2017. It’s a great unit. Like I said, it’s about 528 gallons. It has a submersible heater in there to keep it within tepid range. It’s pretty straightforward right out of the box. It’s a bit pricey. If you’re interested, let me know. I can let you know about it. That would be something that you can put out into remote areas. If you have a little power, you can go ahead and hook it up—or a generator, or solar or whatever to help keep it warm. You keep the water stabilized using just those regular chlorine tablets for a Jacuzzi. It keeps the pH balance level correct, but that’s basically it. So we have a great solution for those situations.

Jamie: Okay, thanks, Matt. Actually, I did get a name in. That’s Suresh from India.

So this is our last question. Where do eyewash bottles fall into this setup? Eyewash bottles are so small, how can they be 15 mins of flushing? Can you talk a little bit about that?

Matthew: The reality is they are not. They are more of a first-aid type of situation, but it does not take the place of a full 15 mins of flushing. So while they may be a stop gap, it might be able to flush out some particulates here and there, it does not replace the need for an eyewash.

Unfortunately, one of the things that we see everywhere is just that. Imagine, you’re working in your shop and you get something caustic in there like WD-40 or something that really burn. You get it in both eyes and you’re a little disoriented. Well, now, you have stuff in both of your eyes, you have to use 2 hands, which is again not compliant, which eye are you going to save first? You can only use one at a time. That’s one of the things that we like to let people know. It’s a stop gap, but it is no way a replacement to code or to OSHA standard. They don’t really—I mean, people will have them as a handy, first aid thing, but it is not an eyewash solution.

Jamie: Alright. Thanks, Matt. Well, looks like we’re out of questions. Matt, do you have any final words for the audience?

Matthew: No, just thank you, everybody, for your time. Great questions. My information is right there. If you have any questions, feel free to call me, text me, email me and we’ll be happy to get surveys and information going for everyone.

Jamie: Awesome. Thank you. I’d like to thank Matt. Thanks for puting this presentation together. I know it doesn’t put itself together, so thanks for all your efforts and hard work. Thanks to Speakman for sponsoring the webinar. Without you guys, all this wouldn’t have come together. SafetyNetwork, again, great network of distributors and end-users and manufacturers.

Most of all, thanks to the audience. Without you guys, none of this would even be happening or possible. Really appreciate you guys. We know you have a choice of where to put your time and we’re very grateful that you’re spending some of that time with us.

With that, thanks, everybody, and have a great rest of the week and weekend. Take care and stay safe.

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Emergency Services HAZMAT Eye Protection Emergency Response

Presented By

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Written by Matthew Gavia | Regional Sales Manager Western U.S.

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Bringing more than 19 years of sales and management experience, Matthew manages the Western United States safety sales and its network of sales representatives, along with key industrial and safety distributors and end users. Knowledgeable in the industrial, health, and safety markets, Matthew is part of a team out of California managing health and safety buying groups and design-build firms.

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