Protect your eyes – because vision is key in almost any work situation. Application of common sense will take you a long way, but not the whole way. It is not a guarantee for an accident-free life, so preparation is everything. In case of an accident, the damage to your eyes and vision can be a question of a few seconds. Thus, immediate access to eye wash is vital in workplaces exposed to potential eye accidents.
The damaging substance may enter the eyes as solids, liquid or gas substance. The degree of the damage will depend on the properties of the substance, its temperature, pH value and for how long the impact lasts. Most eye accidents are caused by dust, dirt, metal and wood splinters, chemicals such as oil and dissolvents. In these circumstances, rising the eye with an eye wash solution of 0.9 % sterile sodium chloride will be sufficient (identical to the natural percentage of salt content in the liquid produced by the eye). The isotonic solution is suitable for rising and cleansing the eyes as a means of first aid in case of injury. An immediate rinsing may prevent foreign substances to come into contact with and seriously damage the eyes. Plus accidents involving acid and base substances with eyes exposed to e.g. paint, bleach, cleaning agents.
Since the eye’s pH value is neutral, it is matter of seconds after eye contact with acid or base before the pH value is significantly deteriorated and the corrosive damage may lead to permanent eye damage. Thus in case of eye injuries involving acid and base substances you need quickly to neutralise the chemical component to a pH value of around 7.4, which equals the normal level in the eye. The use of ordinary water or 0.9 % sodium chloride will only provide a certain degree of solution and rinsing (see Figure 1 below), and thus we recommend the use of pH Neutral eye wash (phosphate buffer). Subsequently, we recommend continued rinsing until medical examination (washing with 0.9 % sodium chloride).
We recommend you see a doctor for any type of eye damage. Nonetheless, immediately after the injury you should apply eye wash or phosphate buffer (pH Neutral) depending on the nature of the injury. Keep spare bottles readily available to enable continued eye wash during transport to the doctor or emergency.
Follow the diagram for guidance on how and for how long you need to apply the eye wash relative to the exposed substance:
Always ensure the eye wash liquid makes contact with the eye in a slow and steady motion. In case of concurrent injury on both eyes, use DUO for rinsing both eyes simultaneously. Download our Eyewash plan, so that you may have it available in case on an emergency.
See our videos and learn how to rinse with Plum Eye Wash and pH Neutral and witness the effect of pH Neutral on acids and alkalis. Or download our product information on:
Plum Eye wash:
pH Neutrals effect on acids and alkalis: