Last week Speakman Company exhibited at the annual American Society of Safety Engineers Safety Exposition in Baltimore, MD.  During the show we had an opportunity to meet various Safety Engineers and facility owners from around the country who stopped by our booth to learn how Speakman Safety Products could help them better equip facilities to handle emergency/potential hazards.  If you weren’t able to attend the show and meet Speakman or one of our Safety competitors, here is an idea of some of the information you may be missing when planning how to equip a facility with emergency equipment…

As technology has improved over the years, accidents in the workplace have been on a decline; however employers are still responsible for ensuring that their facilities are prepared for emergencies and accidents.  OSHA & ANSI have created a set of specific standards for compliance to create a safer working environment for employees.  While many manufacturers in the industrial safety equipment industry produce products which meet these standards, it goes without saying that not all products are equal and perform the same way.

There are several key factors employers should consider when purchasing emergency equipment for their facility, below are just a few!

  1. Does the product visually stand out?
    1. In many large industrial facilities with hazardous areas, emergency equipment must stand out against everything else within the space, allowing the user to easily find the equipment during an emergency.  In addition to the product standing out it is also recommended that universal emergency signs are posted above the equipment to assist with locating the equipment.  Most manufacturers of emergency showers and eyewashes include this sign when you purchase a unit.  It is also recommended by ANSI that when an emergency eyewash or shower is installed in a facility that it be within 10-seconds of travel time from the hazardous area.
    2. Does the product offer multiple activation options?
      1. In situations where the user cannot activate the unit by the primary method (usually pull rod or push handle), it is important to consider alternative activation methods such as foot pedals.  Additionally selecting units with stay-open ball valves allows the unit to remain activated without the uses continual intervention.  This allows the user to focus on flushing out contaminants.
      2. Does the unit have integral flow controls?
        1. Integral flow controls ensure that the flow of water remains constant to both the showerhead and eye/face wash in combination units if both components are in use at the same time.  Without integral flow controls, you could potentially lose the strength of either or both the shower or eye/face wash sprays when both are in use.

There are other factors to think about in addition to these when purchasing emergency equipment beyond the before mentioned items.  The most important thing to remember is not to cut corners with emergency equipment.  Set-up an appointment with a manufacturer’s rep to do a walkthrough of your facility to determine your equipment needs.  Once you know what you need, do throughout research, emergency equipment is not only a financial commitment, but also an investment which could save your life or the life of one of your employees.


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