How to use an eye shower or eye rinsing bottle

How to use an eye shower or eye rinsing bottleAt a horticultural company, an eye shower or eye rinsing bottle is indispensable. Despite the use of eye protection, it can still happen that chemical substances (such as crop protection products or fertilizers) end up in a person's eyes. It is then important that this person rinses out his or her eyes as quickly as possible. This is the easiest, quickest and therefore best done with an eye shower or eye rinsing bottle. In this article our specialist gives more explanation.

Legislation for an eye shower or eye rinsing bottle

An eye wash or eye rinsing bottle must be present in rooms where hazardous substances are handled. The following rules apply:
The eye shower or eye rinsing bottle...
  • must be quickly accessible; 
  • shall be easy to operate; 
  • must have sufficient capacity to flush the eyes for the necessary time; 
  • must not damage the eyes.

The difference between an eye shower and an eye rinsing bottle

The difference between an eye wash and an eye rinsing bottle lies in the way it is applied. With an eye rinsing bottle, you can rinse your eyes directly, but it’s not convenient for long rinses. With an eye shower, you can often act less quickly because you must walk to it first, but you can rinse your eyes much longer and more thoroughly. Therefore, a combination of both is the best option.

In case of contact with corrosive, irritant and flammable substances, it is on the one hand important to be able to rinse as quickly as possible, but on the other hand it is very important to be able to rinse for a sufficiently long time (at least 15 minutes). In this case, a combination of an eye rinsing bottle in the direct workplace and an eye shower in a central location within the company is recommended. This allows for direct rinsing on the way to the eye shower, where the victim can thoroughly rinse the eyes.

Points of attention for installation

When installing an eye shower, pay attention to the following points:
  • Make sure that the eye shower is installed in a clearly visible central location and mark it with the appropriate pictogram. 
  • Make sure that the water pipe cannot freeze. 
  • Rinsing your eyes with cold water is an unpleasant feeling, so you stop rinsing soon (often too soon). Therefore, make sure that lukewarm water comes out of an eye shower. 

Points for attention after installation

eye shower or eye rinsing bottleTo guarantee safety on the work floor as much as possible just installing an eye shower or buying an eye rinsing bottle isn’t enough. After installation, therefore, take the following points into account:
  • Make sure that the barrel towards the eye shower is always free. 
  • In general, an eye shower is (fortunately) hardly ever used. Therefore, prevent bacteria or other pathogens from forming in the stagnant water in the water pipe. 
  • Also check regularly that the eye shower still works properly. 

Eye wash instructions

If your eyes contact hazardous substances, use the eye shower as follows:
  • Activate the eye shower with the help of the lever. 
  • Bend over the eye shower and place the eyes above the nozzles. 
  • Rinse eyes for at least 15 minutes. 

Instructions eye rinsing bottle

For an eye rinsing bottle, follow the instructions below:
  • Remove the protective cap from the bottle. 
  • Keep your eye open with your thumb and index finger. 
  • Place the bottle's nozzle on the eye and squeeze it. 
  • Rinse eye until the eye rinsing bottle is empty. 

Consult a physician

An eye shower and/or eye rinsing bottle is a first aid and rinses (a large part of) the chemicals out of the eye, but this does not offer any guarantee for preventing or counteracting damage to the eyes. Therefore, always consult a physician as soon as possible, keeping the safety data sheet of the crop protection product or fertilizer handy so that the physician knows how to proceed.

Questions about the use of an eye shower or eye rinsing bottle
Do you have any questions about the use of an eye shower or eye rinsing bottle, or would you like to get advice? Then contact product specialist Martin Meuldijk, or ask your question using the form below.

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