In a work environment, no one likes to think about the worst case scenario. What if things don't go as planned? What if there is an accident? What if someone gets hurt? As you might imagine, preparing for the unexpected is the best way to ensure that your staff can go about their work without fear and to ensure that even a surprise incident will have an on-site solution.

For many work settings, that preparation includes an eyewash station. Eyes are one of the most important, and most sensitive, parts of the human body. Jobs that involve a risk to eye safety need an eyewash station nearby in order to offer workers a close, rapid way to rinse their eyes and minimize damage. Otherwise, work can come to a halt while everyone nearby tends to the injured employee, and the affected employee may possibly experience a permanent disability.

When most people think of an eyewash station, they picture a particular kind of environment—either a janitorial setting, or a laboratory, where chemicals are used freely and the risks are ever-present. However, many forget one of the most common environments where an eyewash station is needed is the commercial kitchen. Though many don't realize it, kitchens put eyes at risk almost constantly. Substances of all kinds splatter from pans, grills, and fryers. Workers rub their eyes unconsciously after chopping or preparing raw or spicy foods. And, though kitchens aren't janitorial centers, they still require chemicals for frequent use, such as sanitizers and bleach.

If people realized the risks that kitchen hazards pose, the need for an eyewash station would be automatically apparent. Unfortunately, many don't imagine the pain that splattered grease, or even a little jalapeño juice could bring to an eye. No one would want to think long about what a little sanitizer would do if it was accidentally sprayed in someone's face.

Many have found out the hard way, and their kitchen employees have faced the terrible experience of sudden damage to their eyes with no eyewash station on site to help them. Lawsuits have become quite intense, and for good reason. Employees want to know that they are working in a safe environment, and that even the unexpected, but possible, is planned for.

In addition to the very real risks in the kitchen, OSHA and ANSI regulations provide another motivation for kitchens to stock an eyewash station. Consider this quotation from OSHA, "OSHA does not require eyewash stations by industry. The need for an eyewash is determined by chemicals that are being used in the establishment. If corrosive chemicals are being used, an eyewash is very important.

ANSI standard is similar: "Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees."

If OSHA inspects a kitchen workplace and finds that there are no suitable facilities for quickly drenching and flushing the eyes and body, they can issue a citation, which may result in substantial fines into the thousands of dollars.

There's no need for kitchens to risk so much, either for their employees, or from OSHA. Eyewash stations are simple to purchase and install, and T&S offers a wide range of eye and face wash options to fit the needs of your foodservice environment. Contact T&S today, and keep your kitchen well-stocked for safety and success for decades to come.

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Watch this video to learn how important emergency eye wash stations are for your employees' safety. Not just for chemistry labs and class rooms, an emergency eye wash station provides added safety and protection for your kitchen workers' eyesight!

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