Debbie Knight

A funny way to take a shower

In observation on June 15, 2011 at 10:40 am

This is a safety shower just outside the lab. Note no drain in the floor.

The safety shower. In my 20 years of research, I’ve never used or heard of anyone that has used the safety shower (at least on purpose). That’s a good thing — that means that we have all practiced lab safety measures while working in the lab.

The way a safety shower works, at least this version, is somewhere above the shower head is a big barrel of water. Once the lever is pulled, all the many gallons of water come pouring out of the shower head until the barrel is empty. More often than not, there is no floor drain near the safety shower. This may be by design or this might be an oversight. So all that water goes all over the floor.

How do I know this? Well, I didn’t witness this event while it was happening, only AFTER it happened.

You see, this woman mistook the eyewash for a drinking fountain. Bent over to take a sip of water and instead got sprayed in the eyes. In her surprise, her arm hooked the safety shower lever and “Whoosh!”  She got an instant shower.

I don’t know the fate of the woman — no one knows who she was, but apparently she was having a really, really bad day.

True story. And as twisted little lab rat, I still find funny.

The eye wash portion of the safety shower. This was mistaken once for a drinking fountain.

The safety shower lever. One pull and many gallons of water come out of the shower head.

The safety shower head. Where the many gallons of water come out when the lever is pulled.



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