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Environmental Health and Safety

Standard Operating Procedure for Testing Emergency Showers

KSU Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) recommends testing emergency showers at the beginning of each semester. Occupants of laboratories or adjacent rooms (if station is in a hallway) are responsible for testing emergency showers. It’s important to test these devices regularly to flush out sediment buildup and stagnant water and to help ensure they will function properly in an emergency.

Because the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not clarify what the minimum requirements for “suitable facilities” are, EHS has referred to the voluntary American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z358.1-2014 Standard for Emergency Eyewashes and Shower Equipment for guidance on how to conduct emergency shower testing.

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Emergency Shower Testing Procedures:

1. Planning:

a. Coordinate a time with plumbers from the Division of Facilities. Having a plumber on site is critical in the event a shower will not turn off or leaks after a test is complete.

2. Visual inspection of the unit:

a. Look for corrosion, leaks or pipe damage prior to activating shower to avoid damaging the unit and potentially creating a flood.
b. Check that the path of travel to the unit is free of obstructions. If obstructions are present, document the issue, take photograph if possible, and notify department to have path cleared.
c. Ensure valve actuator is located no more than 69 inches from the floor. Document if condition is not met.
d. Check that shower is identified with a highly visible sign that is positioned so that it is visible within the area served by the shower.
e. Document if any of the above conditions are not met. When possible, take photographs of any concerns.
f. If there are deficiencies with the shower unit or signage, submit a work order through the Division of Facilities Customer Service to have it addressed.

3. Shower water flow test:

a. Set up safety shower test kit (curtain or funnel) to prevent splashing the surrounding area. If possible, direct water to a floor drain or sink for initial flushing of the system. If that is not an option, direct the water to the device chosen to collect the water.

a. EHS has shower testing equipment that can be loaned to departments. Contact EHS at safety@ksu.edu or 785-532-5856.

b. Activate shower. Valve actuator must activate water flow in one second or less and must stay on unless manually turned off. Document it condition is not met.
c. Sanitize water supply through flushing. Activate or flush the unit until the water runs clear to discharge rust, bacteria, or other contaminants.
d. Shut off shower and direct water to the collection device. (EHS uses a 55 gallon drum.)
e. Activate shower and let the water run for one minute. If an excessive amount of water is being delivered, you may need to stop the shower sooner to prevent the collection device from overflowing. Observe the water flow and evaluate if the flow is continuous and if it appears that the unit can maintain flow for 15 minutes.

a. Document the length of time the unit was activated and the amount of water collected to determine the flow rate. The minimum required flow rate for
emergency showers is 20 gallons per minute (gpm). (i.e. If the unit was activated for one minute and resulted in 20 gallons of water, then the unit is delivering water at the rate of 20 gpm.)
b. Document observation of water flow and determine if unit can maintain flow for 15 minutes.

f. If the emergency shower did not meet any of the above criteria, submit a work order through the Division of Facilities Customer Service to have the unit repaired.

4. Information on unit tag:

a. Attach an inspection tag to the unit, or update an existing tag. It is also acceptable to post the test results near the emergency shower if the department prefers.

a. EHS has inspection tags available upon request. Contact EHS at safety@ksu.edu or 785-532-5856.

b. Document if the unit passed or failed the test, date test completed and your initials on the inspection tag.

5. Keep a detailed test record, including dates and all the items noted during the test, for each safety shower tested.