Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 15:58:47 -0400
Reply-To: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: Safety Shower Requirement
In-Reply-To: <a05200f03bb59769dd0d5**At_Symbol_Here**[]>

>I'm looking for input on safety regulations with regards to
>laboratory showers.  We have several showers located in the hallways
>around our clinical laboratories at the University of Wisconsin
>Hospital and Clinics.  A State of Wisconsin survey team have sited us
>for having these showers and not providing drains below the showers.
>Their recommendation is to put in drains or remove the showers.  The
>UW hospital safety officer in formed me they plan to remove the
>showers - unless I can find a regulation that would argue in favor of
>these safety devices. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
>Seems like we make strides in the right direction and then can
>quickly retreat!
>Thanks for any input!
>Donald A. Wiebe, PhD
>Madison, WI

You can not remove the showers.

Showers are *required* under OSHA reg 29 CFR 1910.151, Medical
services and first aid which at 190.151(c) states "Where the eyes or
body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials,
suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and
body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency
use."  See

There are additional non-mandatory requirements as well.  For
example, in National Research Council Recommendations Concerning
Chemical Hygiene in Laboratories
(Non-Mandatory) - 1910.1450 App A at
there are several mentions of showers.

Regulations notwithstanding, imagine the lawsuit from someone who
spills nitric acid or HF all over his/her pants and there is no
safety shower!  Seconds count in a situation like that.

I have heard that floor drains have generally been designed out of
laboratory buildings because of EPA concerns about the discharge of
contaminated water to the sewer.  Unless a huge underground holding
tank is established somewhere, contaminated water would be discharged
= illegal.  Of course, with no floor drain the water will still
eventually end up in the sewer or environment anyway, so all this
regulation (if real) accomplishes is severe damage to the building
and contents.

If anyone can confirm/correct the info in the last paragraph, please
let all of us know!  Don, you may want to call your state EPA folks
and inquire about floor drains in laboratories.

Best regards,

Dr. Rob Toreki
    Interactive Learning Paradigms, Incorporated (ILPI)
100% custom content development for e-learning programs.
Ph: (859) 396-5218, Fax: (859) 523-0606, sales**At_Symbol_Here**
Lab & safety supplies?  Visit

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