Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 22:00:45 -0700
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**>
From: russellu1**At_Symbol_Here**JUNO.COM
Subject: Re: safety shower curtain
X-To: dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**

With over 50 years experience working in research and analytical labs, we found it necessary to have safety showers ready and available in case a worker was exposed to toxic and/or caustic materials.  By in large, curtains are not used because they get in the way and helpers need to get the exposedperson showered as quickly as possible.  Modesty was never an issue, as the importance of saving someones skin or life always came first.  Most of our showers were tied into a central alarm so that as soon as one was actuated, the head office knew and help was immediately sent.  Mostof our showers were in open areas for ease of access and not plumbed to a drain so that any hazardous materials could be contained and appropriately cleaned up, since they were seldom used and everyone in the vicinity would know when one went off.  In some labs, like analytical labs where exposure risks were low, some showers were open on one side with an inexpensive  shower curtain (found at most any store), that could be easily cleaned, disposed of, and/or replaced.  For the fewshowers that had curtains, no curtain specifications were ever considered.
Russell A. Umbraco,  Consultant on Chemical and Industrial Hygiene safety.
On Tue, 25 Oct 2011 03:27:29 +0000 "Wallace, Michele" <MWallace**At_Symbol_Here**COTTONINC.COM> writes:

Does anyone on the list have experience or information about using curtains on safety showers? 


Recently we had an employee exposure incident that, thankfully, did not turn out to be major, but did not go according to plan.  Employees have requested to have curtains on the showers so they will feel more comfortable using the shower in an emergency – which I know should not be the point.  Someone found a vendor selling a curtain.  I want to address the employee concerns, but I do not want to create unreasonable expectations or more hazards.


Any advice appreciated, because right now I really want to scold someone who should know better.


Michele L. Wallace , NRCC-CHO 

Associate Director, Product Integrity
Phone: 919-678-2417
Email:  MWallace**At_Symbol_Here**


"The superior man,when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved."
- Confucius    Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC- 479 BC)



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