water treatment plant

Thames Water purchased a large number of Emergency Tank Showers from Hughes Safety Showers. And who better to make the decision as to what showers should be installed than the users themselves. Learn more about their unique decision making process.

Article originally written for the Thames Water internal magazine, Source, by Martin Wells – copywriter and source editor at Thames Water.

When a routine audit across Thames Water revealed a chronic shortage of chemical safety showers, the company knew it had to act. Having the facility across its water treatment works is part of its statutory health and safety obligations and, in the words of one engineer, the lack of an acceptable standard of shower was “a major incident waiting to happen”.

The simple solution would normally be to order an “off the shelf” shower from a supplier but, instead, those who use them were asked to design their own.

Carl Thomas, a project manager from Thames Water’s Directly Managed Capital (DMC) team said, “The audit established that some sites didn’t have facilities that could be used if someone was contaminated by sulphites or chloride – the chemicals that are used in water production.

“So, we asked people what they needed and created a bespoke shower that met our standards and the requirements of our people, adding a number of features such as dechlorinating tablets, making them environmentally friendly, a foot-activated eyebath and a priority alarm to send an alert to our control room indicating when the shower is being used.”

Crucially, the DMC team took on all the work themselves, ordering and installing all the tank showers. “Doing it this way has probably saved the company thousands,” said Carl, “but it’s also been great that we were given a voice to influence the design. We have a first-class safety asset that offers more to us because we’ve been involved in the project from day one.

“Everyone has talked to each other as the project developed and everyone bought into it. It’s made us all realise that Thames Water is serious about our health and safety.”  

Emergency tank showers are effective in all environments and climates where tepid water, or a constant supply of water, cannot be guaranteed and where it is impractical to use a standalone safety shower. Equally, if there is insufficient water pressure, these units are essential.

Download the PDF version of the full case study.