In renovating our new location I'd like to stay as much on top of safety as possible. We're easily up to code on most everything (you can't not be in downtown Ann Arbor), but upgrading from rinse cups and squirt bottles to a proper eyewash station is next on my list.

My question - I was looking to get a Bradley or Guardian faucet mount eyewash station, as we have a utility sink fairly centrally located in the shop (and very near the paint booth), and was wondering what experience or preferences others may have. Any preferences, guides, or other suggestions?

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I don't know much about eye wash stations but I think you should just bypass it and go for this;

It's good for all sorts of decontamination issue. (My wife is the one hosing down the "patient". She said it's easy to use and fun too!) 

Hello David,

We are fitting out our new factory and part of this move requires us to meet Occupational Health and Safety regulations along with the moral obligation to provide a safe working environment.  We settled on a Fendall stand alone/portable station (Image Attached) which is wall mounted and does not require plumbing,  therefore we can locate it wherever the need is greatest or as the layout changes.  It is filled with a saline solution which is $60 a year to replace/maintain but I suspect that ionized water would be fine for the type and level of spills and splashes in normal luthiery environs (bar using corrosive paint strippers/aggressive chemicals - which we don't).     The price is what it is over your way but this is a robust and effective system which is very easy to locate and use for individuals who may not have assistance available.

The thing weighs a ton when filled so a brick wall mount or dedicated stand is required - drywall and pine studs will not hold this system.

Regards, Rusty.

Thanks Russell. From your description it sounds like the weight and space occupied by such a fixture would leave it less than ideal for our shop (third floor of a historic building with walls of plaster and pine studs 24" on center). I was mainly curious if there were any advantages to the stations like you mentioned over faucet mount stations other than the ability to install them anywhere without need for plumbing.

Our main sink is actually in a nearly ideal location within the shop, roughly equidistant from all potential eye hazards in a modest ~1000 sq ft space. If city tap water is equally suitable compared to saline solution stations for our potential hazards, it looks like the faucet mount station may be most ideal for our shop. They're readily available for under $100 new, so I'll probably just go that route.

And Ned, fun as that outfit looks like it could be for games in our monthly employee appreciation parties, we do already have a shower in the shop for when someone spills nitric acid in their lap, and I think space restrictions are going to limit our options here.

Quote: "wondering what experience or preferences others may have. Any preferences, guides, or other suggestions?"



As for experience in different locations.

Multiple Open Instant Shower Bath Installations.

Stand Under, Pull, to be  completely Flooded with Water.

Gravity Fed Running Water Eye Stations from Large Water Bottles.

And Multiple Small Stations of Smaller Twist Top, Saline Eye  Wash, Bottles.



To be honest, my personal suggestion would be to spend money on Very Good Quality Safety Goggles that people feel completely comfortable wearing whilst they are  working.

Ones they can see what they are doing with, in a genuinely proper manner. Many Goggles are Safe but not good to work with, so this is a Critical Point.

In regard to Personal Protection Equipment. Enforce a rigidly strict code of conduct, outlining clearly under what circumstances they must be worn.

So for me, I think outright prevention, is where I would focus most attention.

Thereafter, provide within the Legally Applicable Framework, whatever Safety Station Solution best addresses the Most Likely - Worst Incident Scenario, based upon your Chemicals Utilised and Group Accumulative Experience.

The main thing people miss out on is PROPER TRAINING. Allow people to practice, try  and use the devices BEFORE an incident, with practical demonstrations for them so that should anything happen.

Everyone already clearly knows, how to handle it.

Even if it's simply to RUN!.



You don't want people stood holding a fire extinguisher reading the instructions learning how to actuate the triggering device, whilst the flames are lapping up the sides of the Spray Booth.



Do closely monitor and control how, and by how much, and in what manner volatile flammable liquids are used, thinners, cleaners etc. Be pedantic. Get a Program in place to continuously bring down the amount that is used.

Its good practice, saves money, is better for the environment and you will be amazed how little of these dangerous chemicals you really do need to use to get most jobs done, once you set about ABOLISHING every wasteful practice, through a strategy of strongly focussed management control.




My experience extends to having a colleague die in a Combination Spray Repair Booth/Curing Oven due to a Gas Explosion.

It was like someone picked up a concrete floor like it was a carpet, held it at two corners and with a mighty shake, rolled the concrete up and down in one hugely powerful wave.

In another incident,  a Huge Fire ripped though a Large Spray Booth about 400 yards long. Vapour's are indeed a deadly thing and you can get a Flash Fire Spread right throughout that kind of length Spray Booth, as fast as you can clap your hands together.

The main danger is when Vapours are present, and the Air Replacement Plant unexpectedly shuts down, with no proper downdraft and water weir running sucking the Vapours downward. Then Air can rush through a Booth like a Force 10 Gale, spreading Vapors throughout the Spraying Facility. Woosh! I've actually seen Coloured Paint Fumes float by me in streams through the air at great speed, like vapor trails from an Aircraft. Its quite surreal!

You must have some sort of extraction, especially at Maintenance and Component Cleaning Stations where work goes on, and is left, and gone back to repeatedly, and where thinner fumes can easily build up. We once had a Major Booth (about 400 yards long) Burnt Out like that right before a holiday shutdown with a sudden Flash Fire. The Entire Spraying Facility was Completely Burnt Out.

We pulled in Maintenance and Contractors round the clock, putting in a vast amount of Man Hours, and Large Parts of the Booth Replaced to get it back up and running, and by the time the Plant concerned restarted after the holiday, everything was back to  normal. We didn't actually lose a single hours productivity.

A pal of mine was wearing Rubber Gloves once, and cleaning Equipment in a Spray Booth when both hands instantaneously caught light.

He stood there holding both hands up in front of him all aflame. That was caused by Electrostatics. But he was completely unhurt.

Modern Technology is indeed a very remarkable thing.

Plan and Prepare for the Very Worst.

Instituting Best Possible.

Working Practise.




I agree with Peter, prevention is better then cure and having good quality eye protection would be first on my list. Keep goggles at places where injury could occur, make the wearing compulsory and display posters warning of the dangers of not doing so. As an engineering apprentice in the 70's working on a lathe I got a huge lump of swarf in the face, had I not been wearing the correct eye protection I could well have lost an eye. We also had eye wash facilities at several places around the workshop if anyone suffered from eye injury. 


Agreed that prevention is the most important part, and it's good to be reminded. Still, driving carefully of course does not void the need for seat belts and air bags. The preventative part is always kept first in our shop, but my focus at this point is ensuring the best resources if accidents happen even in spite of best precautions. 

Hi David,

 The picture was taken of part of a drill to practice emergency procedures designed to be used in less than ideal conditions. Safety equipment is important but sometimes you have have to be prepared for when the plan doesn't work. 

The first time I ever saw of an eye wash station being used was when I was in high school and one of the two chemistry lab assistants knocked over a seal flask of bromine. He was wearing protective clothing and subsequently OK but unfortunately, the other lab assistant, who had been grading papers in another room Just happened to walk into the area as it happened. The splash burned his eyes, face, neck, the part of his chest that was exposed by his shirt as well as parts of his arms. He spend several weeks in the hospital and a few months under care at home. The burns weren't so severe that he required grafts but his tan was gone in those areas when he returned to school. His eyes were a problem, particularly the right one and it was no sure thing that he would be able to see from it again but he was ultimately able to use it again. His doctors told him that the eye wash station is what probably saved his right eye. 

No body plans to use an eye wash station. That's why you need it. Not that you need my endorsement but I think you are doing the right thing.   

Quote; "driving carefully of course does not void the need for seat belts and air bags."




However, if you were to Design and Manufacture a Car.

Your thinking would be quite different, far more basic and fundamental in every possible way.

The Shape of the Front of the Vehicle, is Crucial to the Survivability of Pedestrians, in the Event of a Direct Collision.

So on one hand, Aerodynamicists are striving to Optimise the Design to Cut through the Wind Resistance as Cleanly as Possible, with the Lowest Achievable, Drag Resistance Co-Efficient.

Whilst on the other hand, Legally Binding Adherence to Safety Regulations, which although it's become far more Global in recent years, actually varies from Country to Country. Constrains the Shape to Reduce the Effect of Impact, Vertically Lifting and Laterally Moving the Pedestrian so as to Avoid, Reduce and Minimise the Contact Injury and Damage.

However, with the Third Hand, (which all Luthiers come to appreciate the importance of having) the Design Function of the Chassis Sub Frame must be Sufficiently Sophisticated, to bear the Substantial Weight of the Power Plant, Deal with the Handling Dynamic Rigours of the Suspension, and yet in the Event of Collision, Yield itself in an Energy Absorbing Manner, through the use of Complex Engineering Structures, that give with an Impact Reducing Effect through the use of Complex Crumple Zones.

Yet with the Fourth Hand, (yes, you knew it would eventually be needed) the Chief Designer, responsible for the Products Shape. Whose Reputation and Future Career rests upon whether Potential Customers are Attracted to the Design enough, to find that they are Drawn Towards wanting to Drive and Subsequently Purchase the Vehicle. Has to ensure it is Distinctive Enough to be Instantly Recognisable as a Model within the Heritage of an Established Brand Marque Family. Immediately Registering in the Subconscious Mind as to its Lineage. Yet Revolutionary enough in Concept to Evolve the Brand Image to an entirely New Level. Incorporating all the Latest New Technologies and Utilising, State of the Art, New Manufacturing Methods, that so often Facilitate and Enable previously impossible Design Concepts to be Realised, in a Commercially Viable Manner.



Why am I writing this?

Because, thinking about how you deal with the problem Post Event, and the Deployment of Solutions once a Problem has Occurred, is not the best way to approach Safety Issues.

We need to First Actively Consider ways to Entirely Prevent and Avoid any Instance of Danger. Preferably Eliminating that, Certainly Reducing that, But Absolutely Minimising its Possibility as an Initial Prerequisite of our Thoughts. And this, Built Into the Overall Design of the Work Place. The Flow of the Processes. The How and Why of the way People and Processes Interact and Folk Pass Through Areas of Potential Danger.

So much Danger can be Designed into a Building or Designed Out of a Building, before anyone even turns the key to open the Front Door.

That is the Point!



Let me give you some quick analogies from my past experience and knowledge just to make you think a little about this.

Some Years ago, one Company I had "an Interest" in, had a Secret Research and Development Establishment and wanted to Design a Brand New Building as a Central Design Hub.

Usually in such places, people are kept in completely autonomous, different departments, in different buildings, different floors, different rooms, and as such only have very minimal contact indeed with each other.

We decided to turn that on its Head. Our New Design meant that everyone working on a Project, Constantly and Continually Interacted. There were Larger more Spacious Rooms, Incorporating Fuller, more Enjoined Teams of Specialists.

Corridors were much Wider, allowing people from completely different departments to freely pass by one another all the time. As folk that bumped into each other, came to know each other better, simply by saying hi, they could easily stop and talk, and begin share their current problems together. At the End of these Corridors, Seats and Coffee machines were available in places not meant to be Rest Areas.

Simply places where people from Different Disciplines, Constantly, on an Everyday Basis, in mostly completely unplanned ways, Continuously Met and Interacted, in a Naturally Evolving Relationship, without losing Focus from their Task. On the Contrary, it Enhanced it.Sharing their Latest Issues, Problems and Ideas. And Together Now as One Unit, With a far greater Understanding and Appreciation of Each Others Difficulties, Moving Forward with a Communal Purpose towards a Common Goal. Able at many times to easily Resolve One Another's Issues, through Greater Awareness and Give and Take, even though they had Precisely Distinctive Areas of Specific Responsibility within the Overall Parameters of the Product Design.

The whole point was to Encourage, Promote and Control, Wholly Positive Ways  for people to Interact and Work Together. Rather than Negative Ways.


Now I think it's possible to look at a Workplace.

And Design and Build, Inherent, Preventative Safety Into It, the Processes, Work Flow and People Movement.

Just as Designers Build Safety into every Aspect of a Cars Engineering Concepts, and just as we Designed a Building so that Clever People, Interacted in a Wiser Way.

I've spent my whole life surrounded by people that were far, far cleverer than me, and I have to tell you that I am singularly unimpressed with them, brilliant though they no doubt are. Its Wisdom that impresses me, and getting some Wisdom into the Process can make all the difference in the World. It's a Great tempering Influence.



At one time here in the U.K. 4x4 vehicles were classified (in the same Class in respect to Government Safety Legislation) as Agricultural Vehicles.

As Traffic Volume grew, Road Traffic Accidents became more commonplace, and Safety Issues for Pedestrians became Highlighted. Automotive Manufacturers responded with Stricter Accident Crash Testing, and Building in Better Safety features to their Vehicles.

Yet Strangely, The Large Heavy 4x4's being Classed as Agricultural Vehicles, had no Legal Requirement to pass the same Safety Tests that all Saloon Cars on the Road Faced. They had none of the Engineered Front Crumple Zones, and many other Inherent Safety Features, yet because of their size and weight, people simply unaware of the Minimal Legal Requirement of Safety Testing, assumed and considered them to be Safe.

The point here, is if we Adhere to Legal Requirements and believe we have done everything that is needed, we may be deluding ourselves, and placing both others and ourselves at unnecessary risk.

We need to be Wiser than that.

More diligently aware.



Whereas a Modern Car of Quality, will have Passed Safety Tests the Government Safety Specialist have not even Dreamt Of!

Some have incredible features and though Heaven Forefend it ever should. If an Road Traffic Accident did occur, the Car itself would know and send an instant signal at the moment of Impact to a Dedicated Headquarters along with data Analysing the Severity of the Incitement.

The Nearest Hospital would Automatically have been Alerted, and requested to Send an Ambulance, whilst a Dedicated Coordinator would advise the Police, and Deal with all the Issues Involved, including the comfort of talking to and with one, in the Car on a continuing two way basis, whilst help is on the way. And the Car itself, does that for you!



Manufacturer Advanced Driving is available.

Please understand the best Safety Feature in a Car, is actually the Driver.

They can Drive in a Defensive Manner, that is Alert and Aware of Potential Danger, and thus Avoids Problems in the first place, rather than trying to deal with them after they have happened. Some of the Specialist Driver Training will allow you to deal with Attacks from other Vehicles, and allow you through your Driving Skill to Avoid Danger and Escape.

Whilst the Vehicles Themselves, (related to my concerns) are available at Three Levels of Security. The most basic deals with Street Crime  and Sudden, Spontaneous Incidents along with Handgun Attack. The Mid Level deals with Automatic Gunfire from Military Grade Weapons, AK-47 Rifle Ammunition for example, whilst the Third Level Protects from Advanced, Hard Ammunition and Explosions from various types of Extreme Bomb Devices.


There's a lot of After Market Security Companies around, but in my experience, it's by far the Best to Design The Security into the Product, and Build it into it as the Vehicle is Made.

It's also worth realising that the more Security Considerations are Built in As Part of the Initial Design, The More Normal everything seems. The Best Security is completely inconspicuous, and does not attract undue attention to itself, because its Designed into to everything already.

How would an Attacker or Assassin know which Vehicle in a Convoy to Attack, if they all look exactly the same? The real point here is we can Design In Safety, make it so Fundamental to the manner in which everything is Planned and Laid Out, that Everything becomes Safer as a Result.

But despite all the Safety features in the World, in my Opinion, the Driver is the most Important Element of All.


By Analogy, if you are in Charge of a Work Shop, you are really the Driver.

How Work and Safety is Managed and Handled.

Comes down to you!



Just whilst on the Subject.

Be aware that there are some "supposedly" Cool Eco Products available in various markets in the World.

Just as 4x4's once escaped a lot of Safety Legislation, Certain Miscreant Manufacturers have tried to Avoid and Elude Expensive Safety Testing Costs, Avoid Taxes, but by going, the other way entirely.

Instead of making Big, Heavy, Large Engine Vehicles, they make Small, Light, Tiny Engine Vehicles. Because the Cubic Capacity of the Engine is such that they are Classified in a different manner to which one would expect. And crucially can subsequently pass into Western Markets, completely bypassing Normal Safety Tests for this type of product.

Lamentably, in parts of the world, certainly here in the U.K. Some of our Cool, Hip, Eco friendly Celebrities, have endorsed and publicised these products quite freely through various types of media, thinking they are doing a good thing. Whilst in reality knowing nothing of the truth of the product.

They might be Saving the Planet, but they could Die in the Process. Many of the Cars in the Movies below have actually Spontaneously Combusted, One in a Dealers Showroom!


It is the case that this same product has been introduced here in the past.

But they really are bypassing all the Safety Legislation.

They've changed the Model Name now.

Which tells us everything.



You can Design Safety In.

Or you can Design Safety Out.




People like to try to Steal Cars.

But there are Safety Risks for the Potential Thief.

I have a Pal who has this Legal Anti Theft Device to his Car.



Stay Safe!


Thanks for your thorough thoughts and advice on this Peter. Trust me, I take precautions to minimize risk very seriously. After doing all that though, shops should still have eyewash stations, tourniquets and band aids and fire extinguishers, even if precautions and safeguards are so firmly in place that you should never need them. In this particular discussion I was looking for experience and pros/cons of different types and models, but it's always good to discuss the importance of preventative measures as well.

I picked up a Bradley faucet mount station at Grainger this morning and am quite happy with it's design. Easy to install, and if you have a sink with a suitable faucet head in a suitable location I would endorse it as a great option for your shop.

It's designed for the faucet knobs to be continually left on, and has a push button on the lower half to turn the tap on and off. With this arrangement when you approach the sink in an emergency you only need pull the main knob on the front and don't have to fiddle with any faucet knobs. We put covers over the knobs to make sure they are not absent mindedly turned off, and will likely put up a sign clarifying proper use as well.

Anyway, thanks all for the tips, and for those of you who haven't included an eyewash station in your first aid arsenal yet, don't forget to go out and get one.


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