Sunday, August 7, 2011

Contingency Planning For Eyewash / Safety Showers

When a facility has corrosives onsite, it is required that drenching facilities be readily available. These drenching facilities could include an eyewash, eye/face wash, shower or combination eye/face wash shower depending on the amount of possible exposure to the chemical by the employee. This requirement is found in the OSHA Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.151(c).

If you have plumbed eyewash / safety shower(EWSS) installed they must be tested weekly to verify that they work properly.

What do you do if you find an EWSS that does not work? Do you stop all activities that involve chemical handling in that area? For a manufacturing plant, hospital or commercial laboratory that could very expensive.

What happens if the water supply to multiple EWSS's is unexpectedly shutdown?

It is important to do some contingency planning so you are not caught off guard if you lose some or all of your eyewash safety showers. Here are some things to consider when doing this planning:
  • Communication needs to be part of any effective plan. Make it part of your procedures to notify the occupants of affected area if their eyewash safety showers are out of service. Emails, overhead announcements and posting signs may play parts in your communication plan.
  • It is helpful to maintain a fleet of spare, portable eyewashes safety showers. The number you keep on hand depends on the size of the facility. Portable eyewashes need to be maintained too. Be careful when lending these out for construction projects, as they do not always show back up.
  • Clearly mark that the out of service eyewash safety shower is out of service. Use yellow caution tape to block access to it. If you can not place a portable unit at the same location, be sure to have a sign at the location directing people to the nearest working eyewash safety shower.
It is common to do contingency planning for critical cooling systems, electrical power or plant water supply. This same level of planning and analysis should be applied to the safety systems thaat protect our employees.

Review our early posts a detailing the FieldDataPro solution can be used to set up a very effective safety inspection program. It is especially useful when trying to manage weekly testing of eyewashes that are distributed across a large campus or facility.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Read a Good Article About Operator Rounds

Written by Sam McNair at Life Cycle Engineering. Follow the link below:

Discusses really looking at the data you are asking your operators to record during their rounds. Operator rounds are an integral part of maintaining a reliable plant, but if you are asking your employees to spend a great deal of time recording data that no one ever looks at or uses they will grow frustrated.

During an implementation of our handheld data collection solution, we at FieldDataPro encourage our clients to review each Point of Interest they are asking their employees to record and ask them:

  1. Why is this piece of data useful?
  2. How will this data be used?

If they can not answer these questions we ask them to reconsider including it in the operator rounds. To read a case study of how FieldDataPro solution helped improve Operator Rounds at a manufacturing plant follow the link below: