Environmental Health & Safety Emergency Showers

Emergency Showers

  • Emergency showers are needed when there is potential for major portions of an employee’s body to contact corrosives, strong irritants, toxic or skin-absorptive chemicals.
  • Emergency showers consist of a shower head controlled by a stay-open valve, operated by an approved control valve actuator, and capable of delivering water over the user’s entire body. Emergency showers are tested annually by Facilities Operations to ensure the valve is operating, all debris is removed from the system, and there is sufficient water flow.
  • Where required, emergency safety showers must be present within 50 feet of the potential hazard and it should take no more than ten seconds for laboratory personnel to reach the safety shower. DO NOT BLOCK ACCESS TO THE SAFETY SHOWER.
  • Every laboratory worker should know the location of all safety showers in the area and how to use them.
  • When used, remove contaminated apparel, flush contaminated area of body for fifteen minutes or according to the safety data sheet or other available safety information and obtain medical attention.
  • The presence of an emergency shower does not replace the need for personal protective equipment.
  • For additional information, see Fact Sheets Emergency Washing Facilities-Determining Need & Location and Emergency Washing Facilities-Specifications, Responsibilities, & Training.”
Washington State University