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**med.cornell.edu>
Subject: Re: safety shower curtain
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
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 ,
Director, Product Integrity
"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
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