Although your working environment can make eye injuries more, or less likely, damage to eyes can occur absolutely anywhere. A swimming pool attendant working with chlorine should know exactly where they can quickly find eyewash in an emergency, but how about an office worker who shatters a glass in the sink or gets photocopy toner dust in their eyes?
Eyewash is an often overlooked component of a first aid kit, but when tiny infections and scratches can lead to visual impairment or blindness, it’s a crucial one. Sourcing not just eye wash for the first aid kit, but also as a separate station, will help make your workplace a safer building.
First aid in the workplace
So your workplace should have a first aid kit and a fairly good one at that, but having a separate eyewash station can be very useful. Depending on the working environment, just one eyewash station may be sufficient or, if the workplace is situated over several floors or uses harmful products such as chemicals, multiple eyewash stations may be needed.
The advantage of having an eyewash station separate to a first aid kit is that access is faster and easier. A wall mounted eyewash station is a particularly good idea as it can be placed with much more ease.
Damage to eyes frighteningly easy
Damage to eyes doesn’t just occur with dangerous chemical and substances; simple grit, sand and dust can scratch the cornea and irritate the sclera which, in turn, can lead to infections. Eyewash stations can mean the difference between keeping your vision and having impaired sight for the rest of your life.
Contact lens wearers will already be aware that a fleck of dust caught under the lens can cause great pain, but it can be easy for someone with no previous eye trouble to underestimate how easily vision can be compromised.
Keeping your employees and staff safe includes being prepared for when something goes wrong. With one or more eyewash stations, you can draw attention to the safety measures and inform your staff of the availability of eye wash. Many people may not know that this sort of first aid treatment is easy to use and can be crucial.
With online medical supplies companies, it’s easy to compare eye wash products to find the one that suits your requirements. A variety of wall mounted stations are available, and you can frequently choose to buy them separately or including the eye wash itself.
Inform your staff
Designated first aiders within your company should be informed and, if necessary, trained in the use of eyewash. But it is also important to keep the staff in general aware of changes to any safety precautions.
Informing your staff as a whole lets them know that their safety is paramount and that eyewash is an important and useful tool in medical care. It’s surprising how few people consider it in first aid kits. Draw their attention to the locations of eyewash stations and reiterate the general first aid availability in the workplace as a whole – enabling them to see the medical equipment available.
About the author – Kit Pascoe blogs about a wide range of topics including medical news and positive workplaces. She’s a qualified first-aider and this piece was researched using information found on the Bound Tree Medical website.