From: "Kennedy, Sheila" <s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Ventilation calculator for chemical spills? (shower question)
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2015 16:39:13 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: FA001EE30BA70F4D926117C13DAFFFDF72866808**At_Symbol_Here**XMAIL-MBX-BT1.AD.UCSD.EDU

We also do not have drains.

Our plan is to render first aid, then call Facilities Management. They are to bring water vacuums & collect the water.

I also make a big point about not letting computers or book bags stand on the floor.


Sheila M. Kennedy, C.H.O.

Safety Coordinator | CHEM Teaching Laboratories

Chemistry & Biochemistry | University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Dr. | La Jolla, CA  92093-0303

Office: (858) 534 - 0221


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**]On Behalf Of bkgarebe
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2015 9:27 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Ventilation calculator for chemical spills? (shower question)


Hi Don, 

My main point was where would these volumes of water drain to?







Sent from my Samsung device

From: Don Abramowitz <dabramow**At_Symbol_Here**BRYNMAWR.EDU>
Date: 22/10/2015 18:12 (GMT+02:00)
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Ventilation calculator for chemical spills? (shower question)


Emergency showers under ANSI standards are supposed to provide a flow of 20 gallons per minute for at least 15 minutes.  I'm hoping those numbers are helpful in defining quantities for your circumstances. 

That's a fair bit of water, and apart from the several issues around where the water goes if there are no drains, I wouldn't be too concerned about standing in the contaminated water after, in this case, 300+ gallons of rinse water mixes with the relatively small volume of contaminant present on a person's skin or clothes.   That will reduce the concentration of anything miscible with water by several orders of magnitude, while such other measures are going on, such as removing contaminated clothing and moving out of the immediate area once the rinsing is completed.


Donald Abramowitz, CIH
Environmental Health & Safety Officer
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA




Can anyone pls assist me urgently. I head an Occupational Health Analytical Laboratory facility in Johannesburg. We are about to take over a newly renovated organic chemistry lab. An emergency shower has been installed, but with no drainage. We are being told that that is the norm in South Africa.


Apparently, the General Safety Regulations framed under the OHS Act, Regulation 3 (9) states that "Where an employee at a workplace is exposed or can be exposed to a potential hazard of injury to or absorption through the skin as a result of sudden contact with a large amount of toxic, corrosive, high risk or similar hazardous substance, the employer concerned shall make sure that there is a fast-reacting deluge-shower with clean water or a similar facility in the immediate vicinity of the workplace of such employee and that the employee is trained in the use thereof." There is no definition of large amount and again no reference to drainage to sewer (or otherwise).

I disagree since this would mean that in the event (hopefully rare) of an accident, an employee will wash off the contaminant and still "stand" in the contaminated water. How are your emergency showers configured?



Boitumelo Kgarebe

National Institute for Occupational Health

Johannesburg, South Africa 


Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.