From: Meg Osterby <megosterby**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Safety Showers, Drains and ADA Compliance
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2018 15:37:22 -0600
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 5a74da10.0a2f6b0a.4617.b6c8**At_Symbol_Here**

At Western Technical College, when they were remodeling the chem lab and stock room a decade ago, to make both OSHA compliant, I found out they had not planned for drains under the safely shower/eyewash stations. I asked why and they told me the insurance risk assessment manager had told them that since we'd never had an accident requiring the use of either portion of this safety feature, they believed that the cost of installing drains was much higher than the expected rare cost of dealing with the water if there was an accident. I asked, "What about the water when they are tested and run to eliminate bacteria every week?" Unbelievably, they didn't know that regular testing and running of them was required by OSHA to keep them clean and usable. They also were intending to use cold tap water, and didn't know the water was required to be tempered to around 85 degrees.


Fortunately, at that time, my dean and facilities managers were all willing to learn and investigated the info I had given them, and we got drains. They didn't slope the floors, they put a 1.5 or 2" rubber, flexible berm around the shower, at the ADA mandated margin, and it was high enough, in combination with the drain, to contain the 5 minute flush of the eyewash weekly, without the water spreading past the berm. It was not intended to contain the 15 minutes of use in an emergency, since we'd never had one use in the previous 30 years of chemistry at Western. So the drains weren't really big ones, since the risk/benefit assessment said it was unlikely they'd ever have to be used in an emergency. The rubber berm would be flattened by rolling a wheel chair over it, but it pops right back up. So, they basically compromised, giving a drain for the testing (cheap) rather than the huge one you'd need to contain 15 minutes of shower in an emergency.


This solution obviously wouldn't work in a place where there are more labs, more students, and therefore more likelihood of having to use the eyewash or shower for an emergency. (Oh, and by the way, the drain and berm combination did contain 15 minutes of water the time I splashed myself in the eye with chemicals - yes, I had done something stupid, and yes, the eyewash prevented any injury).




Meg Osterby
W831 County Road K
Stoddard, WI 54658
414-539-1543 (cell)
608-788-7951 (home)
"It's better to be careful 100 times than to be killed once." Mark Twain


From: Debbie M. Decker
Sent: Friday, February 2, 2018 10:11 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Safety Showers, Drains and ADA Compliance


Try this:


My facility manager and I developed a rig that people use to test eyewashes and showers in my buildings.  Even with floor drains and plumbed eyewashes, folks tend to use the rig. There's an image of the rig in my newsletter here:





Debbie M. Decker, CCHO, ACS Fellow

Past Chair, Division of Chemical Health and Safety

Councilor and Programming Co-Chair

University of California, Davis





Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction

that proceeds smoothly under normal conditions,

can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."



From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Ernest Lippert
Sent: Thursday, February 1, 2018 7:00 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Safety Showers, Drains and ADA Compliance



You are testing the showers the hard way. Put the big drum on a wheeled cart. A length of suitably large diameter plastic pipe in the drum is positioned near to the shower head to contain the splashing and over-spray. It is a good idea to cut some slots or holes near the bottom of the pipe so the water can run out the bottom into the drum rather than overflowing. Be sure to have a ladder in position to access the shutoff valve in the ceiling in case the automatic shut-off fails.

Ernie Lippert


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