Title:
SHOWER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shower enclosure (10) comprising a tank (11, 12, 13) for holding a flushing fluid and an accessible space for drench-washing of personnel with the flushing fluid, wherein the enclosure is defined at least in part by at least one side wall of the tank (11, 12, 13).



Inventors:
Wishart, Bruce William (Livingston, GB)
Application Number:
14/890010
Publication Date:
05/12/2016
Filing Date:
05/14/2014
Assignee:
EMPTEEZY LIMITED (West Lothian, GB)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
4/603, 4/602
International Classes:
A47K3/28; E04H1/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DEERY, ERIN LEAH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANDREWS KURTH KENYON LLP (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A shower enclosure comprising a tank for holding a flushing fluid and an accessible space for drench-washing of personnel with the flushing fluid, wherein the enclosure is defined at least in part by at least one side wall of the tank.

2. The shower enclosure of claim 1, further comprising a discharge unit for flushing fluid, the discharge unit being fluidly connected to the tank.

3. The shower enclosure of claim 2, wherein the discharge unit is directed towards the central accessible space.

4. The shower enclosure of claim 2, wherein the discharge unit comprises one or more shower heads or spray nozzles provided over the accessible space.

5. The shower enclosure of claim 2, further comprising a fluid pump operatively connected into a conduit for delivering flushing fluid from the tank to the discharge unit.

6. The shower enclosure of claim 2 further comprising a flow control mechanism for ensuring adequate duration of discharge of flushing fluid through the discharge unit.

7. The shower enclosure of claim 2, wherein the discharge unit is mounted in an elevated position in relation to the tank to achieve a downwards washing effect to remove contamination from an occupant of the shower.

8. The shower enclosure of claim 1 wherein the enclosure is defined by three side walls of the tank.

9. The shower enclosure of claim 8, wherein the side walls of the tank define a substantially U or C-shaped enclosure surrounding an occupant of the compartment.

10. The shower enclosure of claim 8, wherein the shower has a rectilinear footprint.

11. The shower enclosure of claim 10, wherein the shower has a base which is square.

12. The shower enclosure of claim 1, wherein the shower enclosure has a polygonal structure.

13. The shower enclosure of claim 1 wherein the tank may comprise a plurality of tank sections, each section having an inner wall and an outer wall between which is defined a volume for holding flushing fluid.

14. The shower enclosure of any of the preceding claims claim 1, further comprising a removable skid upon which the tank is supported.

15. The shower enclosure according to claim 14, wherein the removable skid is formed to provide a shower tray with drainage facilities.

16. The shower enclosure of claim 15, further comprising a fluid trap connected to the drainage facilities for subsequent safe disposal or remediation of the fluid for recycling.

17. The shower enclosure according to claim 16 further comprising a filter for removing contaminants from the fluid.

18. The shower enclosure according to claim 1 further comprising a heater to regulate the temperature of the flushing fluid.

19. The shower enclosure according to claim 1 further comprising a pump to deliver fluid from the tank into the enclosure.

20. The shower enclosure of claim 18, further comprising a renewable energy apparatus connectable to the pump to provide power where an electricity supply is not available, and wherein the renewable energy device is a solar panel arrangement and a charge storage device.

21. 21-22. (canceled)

Description:

This disclosure relates to self-contained or “free-standing” emergency drench or deluge showers intended for use at sites where a mains supply of water is not available.

BACKGROUND

Site safety requirements at quarries, mines, major excavations, construction sites, oil field pipelines, large chemical plants or the like industrial sites where workers may be exposed to spillage of biological or chemical contaminants or hazardous materials, require the presence of a walk-in water drench facility or deluge shower. Such a facility must be instantly accessible in any emergency and operate automatically or with minimal action, such as using a pull switch, to deliver a drench of flushing fluid for a certain minimum period of time. The purpose of this facility is to rinse off any contaminants or hazardous materials from a worker who has suffered a spillage upon the person as quickly and completely as possible.

Since the need for this safety measure is most often at a site where a guaranteed water supply cannot be economically installed, the most commonly used traditional designs rely on gravity feed of water from an overhead elevated tank. Due to the need to operate for a minimum period of time, it is important to have a reserve of sufficient water. Furthermore, in order to lessen the shock of a deluge or drench of water upon a person, and to ensure that the person remains under the water for an adequate period to rinse off the contaminating hazardous material it is important that the water is neither too cold nor too hot. Therefore there is also a requirement for the water to be “tepid” which makes water temperature control an essential consideration.

Current regulations such as the ANSI standards and their equivalents indicate that a suitable installation would be capable of delivering 75 litres per minute of tepid water, for example in the range of about 16° C. to 25° C. for a minimum period of 15 minutes. Therefore, a source of power to heat that volume of water sufficiently has become necessary in cold climates, or conversely in hot climates it may be necessary to cool the water, for example by use of heat exchangers or other forced cooling means. Usually, the current designs of emergency drench shower require large tanks accommodating up to about 2000 litres to be located over 2 metres above the shower head.

Installing such a cumbersome facility provides logistical problems including transport and on-site preparation for erection of the facility. Typically, the site is found to be unsuitable for erection of any structure, requiring the first step of installing a concrete base to which the structure required can be fixed. Even if these difficulties are overcome such a facility has a high centre of gravity making stability in high winds a safety concern.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure relates to a walk-in emergency shower enclosure having an accessible space for drench-washing of personnel with a flushing fluid, wherein the enclosure is defined at least in part by at least one side wall of a tank for holding a flushing fluid. A suitable flushing fluid discharge unit, which may comprise a shower head, is provided over the accessible space for drench washing of personnel with a flushing fluid.

An acceptable flushing fluid in accordance with ANSI standards would be tepid or tempered potable water, or a preserved buffered saline or the like physiologically benign fluid such as is used for medical purposes. The latter would normally be used for eye wash purposes. Therefore for the purposes of drench washing, which requires high volumes to be delivered, a potable water would be typically chosen but a preserved water would be suitable also.

Broadly this disclosure relates to compact “wrap-around” tank designs wherein a central accessible space is designed to accommodate a person requiring emergency flushing of contaminants off the person. The central accessible space is defined within the upright structure defined by the wall or walls of the tank for holding flushing fluid.

An emergency shower apparatus may comprise a tank for holding a flushing fluid, the tank enclosing a central accessible space for a person, a discharge unit for flushing fluid, the discharge unit being fluidly connected to the tank and being directed towards the central accessible space, a flushing fluid pump operatively connected into a conduit for delivering flushing fluid from the tank to the discharge unit, and a flow control mechanism for ensuring adequate duration of discharge of flushing fluid through the discharge unit.

The tank of the apparatus may be supported upon the ground directly or upon a movable skid. In this way a low centre of gravity for the apparatus is achieved. Installation is easier due to there being no need to build an elevated support structure to achieve a head for gravity feed, and a reinforcement of the site to accept such an elevated support to raise the tank to a height is avoided.

In embodiments the side wall of the tank defining the enclosure is substantially “U” or “C”-shaped, surrounding an occupant of the compartment except for a gap for access/egress.

In a simple embodiment the shower enclosure has a rectilinear footprint, for example the base may square. The shower enclosure of this embodiment is formed with three upstanding side walls aligned with three sides of the square base and with abutting upright edges to form a sealed enclosure around the three sides. The upstanding side walls may be inner walls of a tank having outer walls, between which inner and outer walls there is defined a volume for holding flushing fluid. In embodiments the tank may be assembled from a plurality of tank sections, each having an inner and an outer wall and configured to be fluidly connected directly or indirectly to a flushing fluid discharge unit so that the overall volume required for the specified tank capacity of flushing fluid for emergency drench use can be met by the combined volume of the respective tank sections.

In other embodiments a polygonal structure may define the enclosure having an accessible space for drench-washing of personnel with a flushing fluid. The polygonal structure may be assembled from a plurality of tank sections which are fluidly connected directly or indirectly to a flushing fluid discharge unit.

In an embodiment, the tank extends upwardly from ground level. The tank is fluidly connected with an elevated flushing fluid discharge unit for discharging a flushing fluid into the enclosure. In all embodiments the bulk of the tank is below the height of the fluid distribution means particularly the flushing fluid discharge unit. This configuration provides a stable structure by lowering the centre of gravity. The flushing fluid discharge unit may comprise one or more drench shower heads. The flushing fluid discharge unit may be positioned at a height exceeding average human height so that in use discharged flushing fluid achieves a downwards washing effect to remove contamination or hazardous materials from the person towards ground level. The flushing fluid discharge unit may comprise at least one shower head or at least one spray nozzle fluidly connected to the tank by suitable pipework or other fluid distribution system.

In a preferred embodiment the shower is mounted on a movable skid base. The skid base may be formed to provide a shower tray with drainage facility and a fluid trap volume for capture of contaminated flushing fluid for subsequent safe disposal or remediation of the flushing fluid for recycling. Alternatively the flushing fluid could be recirculated through a filter to remove contaminants and return the fluid to the tank for reuse. This feature extends the operational use of the unit by continually reusing the fluid in the tank.

The skid base may incorporate a fluid separator, and may house filters for removal of contaminants.

An electric pump may be used to deliver flushing fluid to the flushing fluid discharge unit.

An electric heater may be used to maintain an acceptable temperature of the flushing fluid.

A renewable energy apparatus may be used to power the electric pump and heater at sites where an electricity supply is not available. A solar panel arrangement together with a charge storage device may be used for example.

An embodiment of the emergency shower will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a known elevated tank shower;

FIG. 2 is a view from the front of an emergency drench shower facility as disclosed herein;

FIG. 3 is a view from above the emergency drench shower facility illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a view from one side of the emergency drench shower facility illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3; and

FIG. 5 is a view from the opposite side of the emergency drench shower facility illustrated in FIG. 4.

As illustrated in FIG. 3 a walk-in emergency drench shower enclosure 10 is constructed from three tank wall sections 11, 12, 13. These wall sections are upstanding from the ground 100 (FIG. 2), and arranged to abut in a “C” or “U” configuration (FIG. 3), wherein the three tank wall sections 11, 12, 13 have inner side walls 21, 22, 23 which together define an internal area serving as an accessible space for a person to stand for the purpose of drench-washing the person with a flushing fluid.

Referring to FIG. 2, the standing area surface may be formed as a shower tray 14 which is raised above ground level 100. The tray may cover a catchment zone 15 which may be a sufficient volume within a bunded pallet for containment of contaminated flushing fluid to be subsequently remediated such that contaminants can be safely disposed of within recommended regulations and recommendations for safe environmental practices.

An overhead flushing fluid discharge unit 30 is positioned centrally and fed by a flushing fluid delivery conduit 29 and riser 28. An electrically powered fluid pump 27 is provided to deliver flushing fluid to the overhead flushing fluid discharge unit 30. The flushing fluid discharge unit 30 may comprise a large diameter shower head 26, or multiple nozzles, for drenching a person with flushing fluid.

Each tank wall section 11, 12, 13 provides a reservoir volume for a flushing fluid, which volume is confined between inner wall 21, 22, 23, and outer wall 31, 32, 33 surfaces, and is substantially below the height of the flushing fluid discharge unit.

A flushing fluid flow maintenance (“stay open” type) and level control system which may include a float and link arm assembly may be included within at least one of the tank wall sections 11, 12, 13.

An electric heater may be installed to moderate the temperature of the flushing fluid. Alternatively a heat exchanger may be utilised for the same purpose.

The emergency drench shower enclosure 10 may be skid mounted for transport and ease of deployment with instant operational capability.

In embodiments a renewable energy system for delivering electrical power would be operatively associated with the emergency drench shower. The use of solar panels, or wind power devices, with associated charge storage devices is contemplated.