US 20060011657 A1
A device for dispensing fluid for use as an eyewash station comprising a flexible container for containing said fluid, a reservoir attached externally to said container, a conduit housed within said container in fluid communication with said reservoir, and a sealing means to prevent passage of said fluid from said container through said reservoir prior to initial use of said device. The device is adapted such that, upon breakage of said sealing means, said fluid can pass through said conduit to said reservoir when said flexible container is flexed inwards by a user of said device.
1. A device for dispensing fluid, said fluid of use as an eyewash, said device including:
a flexible container for containing said fluid;
a reservoir attached externally to said container;
a conduit housed within said container in fluid communication with said reservoir; and
a sealing means to prevent passage of said fluid from said container through said conduit to said reservoir prior to initial use of said device;
said device adapted such that, upon breakage of said sealing means, said fluid can pass through said conduit to said reservoir when said flexible container is flexed inwards by a user of said device.
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an external ridge positioned at or near the lower portion of said reservoir;
a first recess around the exterior surface of said inner cap at or near its lower end; and
a second recess around said exterior of said inner cap at approximately its mid-length;
wherein said external ridge is of a complementary shape to each of said first recess and said second recess.
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THIS INVENTION relates to safety devices. In general, it is directed to a dispensing device for liquid formulations which finds particular, but not exclusive, use as an eyewash station.
Employees and their employers are naturally concerned with safety in the workplace. Further, governments apply stringent safety requirements in a vast range of industries and there can be punitive fines if these safety requirements are breached.
The human eye is very sensitive to fumes, liquids or solids which can irritate, and possibly permanently damage, eyes upon contact therewith. Therefore, for industries which generate significant quantities of dust, for example, the mining industries, one safety requirement is to provide suitable devices to enable a person to flush out these irritants from the eyes.
One method of alleviating any irritation is to apply a liquid medicinal formulation to the eyes, the formulation often referred to as an eyewash. A favoured formulation is a saline solution. Such an eyewash is often contained in a bottle which is stored at a first aid station in readiness for use when required.
Although there are a number of prior art dispensing bottles available, one disadvantage of these prior art devices is that they can be difficult to operate by a user, especially if that user has been temporarily blinded and is unable to obtain assistance. This is of particular concern as industry is gradually eliminating the employment of safety officers in an attempt to reduce operational costs. An additional problem with the abolition of safety officers is that safety equipment is often no longer regularly inspected for satisfactory operational status and such equipment may fail when deployed.
There is thus an increasing requirement to provide safety equipment with a prolonged shelf life and which can be readily operated by a lone user.
It is therefore a general object of the present invention to overcome, or at least ameliorate, one or more of the above-mentioned disadvantages.
According to the present invention, there is provided a device for dispensing fluid, said fluid of use as an eyewash, said device including:
Preferably, said container and said reservoir are adapted so that said reservoir can be moved from a first non-use position to a second in-use position.
Preferably, said reservoir includes a piercing means adapted to pierce said sealing means when said reservoir moves to said second position.
Preferably, said piercing means is an extension from the base of said reservoir, said extension being sufficiently tapered to pierce said sealing means as said reservoir is moved to said second in-use position.
Preferably, said reservoir includes at least one first aperture, each said first aperture adapted to prevent said fluid from returning from said reservoir to said container.
Preferably, said reservoir includes a plurality of second apertures, said second apertures adapted to provide a spray effect for said formulation as said formulation passes from said container to said reservoir.
Preferably, an inner cap is removably affixed to the neck of said container, said inner cap incorporating said conduit and wherein said reservoir is removably affixed to said inner cap.
Preferably, said inner cap and said reservoir are further adapted to provide a stop means to initially securely position said reservoir in said first non-use position and then to securely maintain said reservoir in said second in-use position when said device is in use.
Preferably, said stop means includes (a) an external ridge positioned at or near the lower portion of said reservoir, (b) a first recess around the exterior surface of said inner cap at or near its lower end and (c) a second recess around said exterior of said inner cap at approximately its mid-length, wherein said external ridge is of a complementary shape to each of said first recess and said second recess.
Preferably, said device further includes a cap adapted to be detachably affixed to, and cover, said reservoir.
A preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
With reference to the figures, the device (1) comprises a container (2) to hold the required liquid formulation. A typical capacity for the container (2) is 300 ml. The external surface of the neck (3) of the container (2) includes a threaded portion (4). A shaped inner cap (5) includes a complementary threaded portion (6) to engage the threaded portion (4) of the neck (3). A tube (7), open at both ends (8,9), is integral with the inner cap (5) and extends from the inner cap (5) to terminate near the base of the container (2). A first recess (10) (
All components of the device (1) can be manufactured from a plastics material with properties which allow the following: (a) the sides of the container (2) to be flexed inwards by a user of the device (1); and (b) the lower portion (14) of the reservoir (12) to deflect resiliently enabling the ridge (15) to be released from the recess (11) and subsequently engage the recess (10). Preferably, but in no way essential, the inner cap (5) is coloured differently to that of the remaining components which can assist in establishing visually the activated or non-activated status of the device (1). A suitable colour for the inner cap (5) is “safety yellow”.
In use, the container (2) is held in one hand as the reservoir (12) is firmly clasped in the other hand and screwed or pushed down until the ridge (15) engages the recess (10) (
The device of the present invention can thus provide a fully assembled unit, charged with a suitable formulation, and ready for immediate use with the ability to spray the areas surrounding the eye socket to remove irritants therefrom before commencing the eye wash. As a sealed assembly, the formulation remains contaminant free, not requiring constant monitoring as to its suitability for use, with a long shelf life, which can be activated and used by a single person. If it is deemed desirable, the entire unit can be discarded after use or can be sterilized, refilled and resealed for later use. A particularly important advantage of the present invention is that it can be operated without having to invert the device for gravity feeding of the wash formulation as in the prior art devices.
It will be appreciated that the above described embodiments are only exemplification of the various aspects of the present invention and that modifications and alterations can be made thereto without departing from the inventive concept as defined in the following claims.