Anytime that someone is exposed to chemicals, the first thing you should consider is protecting the eyes. The eyes are the most susceptible part of the body as they absorb chemicals much faster than the skin, leading to increased risks of chemical burn and poisoning. That’s why eye and face wash stations are so important – the first 5-10 seconds after exposure is critical, and every second counts after exposure to a hazardous chemical.
According to the Center for Disease Control, about 2,000 US workers require medical treatment for an eye injury each day.
To avoid becoming a statistic, you should provide your crew with emergency eyewash and shower equipment. If a hazardous chemical comes in contact with the eyes, it could require the flushing of up to 20 gallons per minute for 20 minutes – that’s a lot of flushing and a lot of water, which a simple faucet would not be able to cover.
OSHA states that “…where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed
to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.”