Our History

How an unfortunate accident led John D. Hughes to set-up what is now Europe’s largest manufacturer of emergency safety showers, eye/face wash and decontamination equipment.

In July 1950, John D. Hughes MBE a qualified Mechanical Engineer founded J D Hughes Fabrications Ltd involved in the fabrication of pipework and pressure vessels along with the erection of pipelines and structural steelwork for the chemical and petrochemical industries.

Whilst working on various sites where chemicals were being manufactured, employees became aware of an absence of effective emergency shower and eyewash facilities. This deficiency was painfully highlighted when a Hughes employee, Charlie Gamble, accidentally stepped into a tank containing a sulphurous mixture, causing burns to his foot and leg. The only decontamination facility on the site was a domestic cast iron bath half full of stagnant, contaminated water.

From these observations, the company began designing and developing a range of emergency safety showers and eyebaths long before any of the current HSE/COSHH requirements or recommendations. In 1968, following a steady increase in demand for such equipment, J D Hughes Fabrications Limited began to specifically manufacture emergency shower and eyewash equipment and soon became the local leader.

Towards the late 1970s, founder’s son Tony Hughes took over the business and drew upon his engineering expertise and own ideas to further create and innovate the company.

In 2006, Hughes North America opened their headquarters in Sarnia, ON and by 2013, the manufacturing facilities expanded to include an 18,000 sq ft factory and distribution centre.

Joining the Justrite Family

May 2016 saw Hughes Safety Showers Ltd join the Justrite Manufacturing Co. family of industrial hazardous safety and environmental spill containment products.

“Hughes is a perfect complement to Justrite in both product and geographical fit. The two businesses create a stronger industrial safety company that will better serve our global customer base,” stated Mark McElhinny, Justrite President and CEO. “With our history of delivering quality products for storing and handling hazardous materials, it makes logical sense to enhance the offering, and with Hughes, there is no better way”.

Read more about the Justrite acquisition.


Sarnia Manufacturing Site