The ANSI Standard Z358.1-2014 dictates that the emergency shower water temperature requirements must be between 16-38 degrees Celsius, running continuously for at least 15 minutes.
Tepid water reduces the risk of shock or light-headedness that can occur should water be too hot or cold, however when we take into consideration a worker’s need to remove contaminated clothing and wind chill factor, careful consideration is required in terms of emergency response planning.
In the middle of March in 2018, we saw temperatures ranging from a chilly 8 degrees Celsius in the South West of the UK but not reach above zero in the North West. When you take into account the altitudes of some working areas, attention must be given to ensuring your employees are given adequate warmth during the decontamination process.
At Empteezy, our remote tank showers come with a standard water temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, fully compliant with the ANSI emergency shower water temperature requirements. 20 degrees is provided due to the multiplication of Legionnaire’s bacteria that can develop in water temperatures ranging between 20 – 45 degrees Celsius. However, there are reasons why you may need your water set at a higher temperature.
For colder climates where the water temperature would need to be higher, we offer a range or water treatment chemicals that are highly effective bactericides. They are a solution of hydrogen peroxide which is stabilised using a specially formulated silver based chemistry, with a 2 year shelf life.
Remember, that although tepid water is defined as up to 38 degrees Celsius, the risk that comes from being exposed to hot water can result in a multitude of problems and activate certain chemicals. Care should be taken to ensure that in colder climates, the water is comfortable for any injured party.
Additionally, for worker protection, we offer a Wrap Around Emergency Safety Shower that encases individuals whilst in use. It has an optional alarm and digital display for water temperature and level. This type of equipment can shield workers from wind-chill, however consideration should still be given to workers post decontamination.
You should ensure the water temperature of your emergency equipment is maintained by:
- Installing a remote or alarm system to advise when temperature is too low or hot
- Install a freeze protection valve to protect workers from a non-tepid flow.
Remember, during the winter months, most facilities will encounter sub-zero temperatures, therefore equipment must be protected. The ANSI Z358.1-2014 states “Where the possibility of freezing temperatures exist, equipment shall be protected from freezing, or freeze protected equipment shall be installed.”
- Install an anti-scald valve, a temperature activated valve that continuously senses the water temperature and automatically bleeds the shower or eye wash to ensure the system does not produce scalding water.
- Any chemical burn to the face requires a phone call to 999
- Help workers remove contaminated items from their person but only if it is safe to do so
- Douse the face for 15 minutes and the eyes for 20 minutes as a matter of urgency
- Prevent incident! Have robust procedures in place to safeguard employees