Using Tepid Water in Tank and Mains Fed Safety Showers for the safety of your workforce.

Using Tepid Water in Tank and Mains Fed Safety Showers is vital. With much of industry still cutting corners by installing cold water safety showers as a means to protect its employees, Aqua Safety Showers International is offering no obligation help and advice for companies both large and small on how to operate within ANSI 2014 recommendations. We will advise on the importance of using Tepid Water in Tank and Mains Fed Safety Showers.

“The argument over the pros and cons of whether or not to install heated water safety showers has really run its course”, says Janet Waine, managing director of Aqua Safety Showers International.

“It is no longer an option to give your workforce cold water safety showers direct from the mains as this will undoubtedly exacerbate injuries causing further unnecessary harm and pain.  Supplying tepid water is vital and if your safety showers don’t meet ANSI industry standards you may be setting a dangerous trap for your workers and a costly liability bill for your company. We also understand the cost implications for a business. Which is why we want to help companies sort out the best solution to meet their needs and budgets.”

ANSI 2014 states that the water temperature delivered by safety equipment should be ‘tepid.’ Tepid is defined to be between 60°F (16°C) and 100°F (38°C). Many COSHH sheets state the requirement for a casualty to remain under a shower for at least 15 minutes to be washed off satisfactorily.   The necessity to therefore provide 15 minutes or more of tepid water is absolutely vital as getting doused in cold water can not only cause thermal shock it will actually close the pores thus trapping the contaminants in the skin.

“The delivery of tepid water can raise complicated engineering issues,” Janet continues. “We understand difficulties such as water access/storage, available space, the costs of heating large volumes of water, the cost of installing and running inline instantaneous water heaters and the environment in which a safety shower will be sited. But all these points need to be considered so that the most effective piece of equipment can be specified.

“A tank shower is possibly the most effective solution to ensure tepid water is guaranteed as by the very nature of being able to store water means operationally it is not affected by water or power failures. Regardless of ambient or incoming water temperatures the shower will deliver a guaranteed 15 minutes of tepid water at 76 litres per minute as recommended by ANSI because the stored water can be effectively managed.

More sophisticated methods are now available to enable the tank to be heated so that it is operable in temperatures down to minus 40 degrees C. Equally the method of applying a ‘chiller’ to the tank enables safe use in temperatures up to plus 40 degrees C

“If there is access to suitable mains water providing the correct flow rates then a ‘mains-fed, trace heated’ safety shower can be installed, however this sort of equipment will not deliver tepid water (a common misconception) and we still recommend the shower be connected to a tepid water supply.  This can be achieved by either fitting a thermostatic mixing valve (however you will need a separate hot water supply) or connect the shower to a separate ‘header’ or ‘remote’ tank which can sit in a roof space or floor space. These options provide a tepid water feed to a free standing shower.  This is ideal for buildings such as laboratories, research facilities, hospitals and small manufacturing facilities where there is the potential of coming into contact with hazardous materials but where space can be at a premium.

“And if the workforce is constantly on the move, such as those in the construction industry, the mobile safety showers goes wherever the work is. This type of safety shower solution is well worth the investment and is hassle free.”