Eyewash safety showers located in remote hot environments may be unsafe to use due to excess water temperature and high risk levels of water borne bacteria such as Legionella. Australian Standard AS 4775 specifies that dispensed water shall be bacteria free and have a maximum temperature of 37.8°C. Legionnaires disease is contracted when water aerosols containing Legionella bacteria are inhaled.
Laboratory tests show 30 to 70 times more aerosols are generated by showers operating at 38°C than with showers operating at 25°C. Furthermore, excess temperature in flushing water can cause burn injuries leading to hospitalisation, skin grafts and/or permanent scarring. Excess temperature also increases the rate of reaction to corrosive substances, opens pores in the skin to allow greater dermal penetration and can cause dizziness and fainting by dilating blood vessels and reducing blood pressure.
Challenor, H A, 2017. Managing excess temperature and high risk levels of Legionella bacteria in eyewash safety showers, in Proceedings Iron Ore 2017, pp 337–346 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).