Safety Tip of the Week – Emergency Eye Wash and Deluge Showers

Emergency Eye Wash and Deluge Showers

Let’s hope you never need one, but if you do let’s hope it’s clean and accessible. If you get foreign particles in your eyes or a chemical spill on your body, an emergency eyewash station or deluge shower is the most important initial step in first-aid treatment. Chemical burns to the eye are among the most urgent of emergencies.

An Eyewash/Shower is REQUIRED if:

  • The Safety Data Sheet indicates a chemical in use is caustic, toxic, or corrosive.

  • The SDS informs that serious eye damage may result.

  • Warnings such as “causes chemical burns” or “causes permanent eye damage” are posted on container labels.

Proper Use:

Employees who are exposed to possible chemical splashes must know in advance how to use an eyewash/deluge station properly:

Immediately after the accident, flood the eye with water or eyewash solution, using fingers to keep the eye open as wide as possible. Water may be colder than body temperature, which can be uncomfortable, but it is imperative to irrigate for the recommended period of time.

Roll the eyeball as much as possible, to remove any loose particles retained under the eyelids. Do not put anything except water into the eyes to remove particles.

The eyes should be irrigated for at least 15 minutes and the victim transported to a medical facility immediately after. Continue irrigation of eyes during transport. The best way to accomplish this may be to have a portable eye-wash system ready that can be carried along.

Don’t let the lights go out, wear eye protection!! 


Download flyer: STOTW_35_EmergencyEyeWash.pdf (89.93 kb)

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