Virtual Collision / Paint Shop
Eye Wash

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In a collision repair facility, very serious eye damage can result from being splashed by chemicals such as paint solvents, battery acid, cleaners, hardeners, and paint strippers, etc, or getting dirt or debris into unprotected eyes. Similarly, physical work such as cutting, grinding, hammering, dismantling, or assembling can result in eye damage from flying particles. Protective equipment should never be used as a substitute for safe work practices. The first line of defense is the use of proper eye protective equipment such as safety glasses with side shields, safety goggles, welding mask, or full-face shields.

However, accidents can happen. Emergency eyewash fountains are very beneficial to minimize eye injury. Material Safety Data Sheets provided by paint suppliers, recommend immediately flushing eyes for at least 15 minutes with running water to ensure rinsing of the entire eye surface, and then get immediate medical attention. Whenever you are working with a chemical, check the MSDS beforehand to be sure you know what to do in an emergency if the chemical gets in your eye or on your skin.

Generally speaking, emergency eye wash equipment should be located, free of obstructions, near work areas where chemicals or flying debris can cause injuries. Their location should be well marked with signs, and the area around them must be kept free of other equipment for quick access in an emergency. They must be maintained and inspected on a regular basis to ensure proper working order. Provincial regulations require eye wash fountains in many situations, so check with your local Ministry of Labour or other authorities to get more details on the requirements in your area.

The following Canadian web sites provide more details on the need for eye wash facilities, the many different types commercially available, how to use them, inspection and maintenance, and where they should be located in a typical industrial environment.

Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, "The importance of Safety Showers and Eyewash stations"

Province of Alberta Workplace Health and Safety, "Eye Injuries at the Work Site"

OHS Canada



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