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How to use an eye wash station or eye rinsing bottle

Eye wash station Written by Martin Meuldijk | Last update: 16-01-2021

At a horticultural company, an eye wash station 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 wash station or eye rinsing bottle. In this article our specialist gives more explanation.

Legislation for an eye wash station 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 wash station 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 wash station 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 wash station, 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 wash station in a central location within the company is recommended. This allows for direct rinsing on the way to the eye wash station, where the victim can thoroughly rinse the eyes.

Points of attention for installation

When installing an eye wash station, pay attention to the following points:
  • Make sure that the eye wash station 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 wash station. 

Points for attention after installation

eye wash station or eye rinsing bottleTo guarantee safety on the work floor as much as possible just installing an eye wash station 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 wash station is always free. 
  • In general, an eye wash station 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 wash station still works properly. 

Eye wash instructions

If your eyes contact hazardous substances, use the eye wash station as follows:
  • Activate the eye wash station with the help of the lever. 
  • Bend over the eye wash station 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 docter

An eye wash station 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 docter as soon as possible, keeping the safety data sheet of the crop protection product or fertilizer handy so that the docter knows how to proceed.

More information about an eye wash station or eye rinsing bottle

Do you have any questions about an eye wash station or eye rinsing bottle, or would you like advice? Then contact one of our specialists, or ask your question using the form below. We'll respond within 24 hours on working days.

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Martin MeuldijkAbout Martin Meuldijk

Martin Meuldijk has had more than 20 years of experience in the glass horticulture, nationally as well as internationally. Ever since 2016 he has been working at Royal Brinkman as a product specialist for the topics of Crop Rotation and Service Items. He likes to help growers to get the best results from their cultivation. His approach? ";Do what you say and say what you do: that is my motto. I attach great importance to always giving proper and honest advice."

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