Employee safety is an important requirement. When an accident happens, it’s even more important to have the right equipment in the right place.
Knowing what equipment your specific facility needs can be a daunting task that includes a lot of complex code language. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) refers employers to The American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) standard Z358.1 specifically to address minimum selection, installation, operation, and maintenance. The key components of ANSI Z358.1 for eyewash and eye/face wash stations include:
Eyewash Safety Station Requirements
Selecting the proper eyewash station must first begin with the type of station.
There are two types:
Plumbed Eye Wash Station
• A safety station unit that is permanently connected to a source of potable water.
• These units most often take advantage of the building’s existing supply lines.
Portable Eye Wash Station
• Also referred to as a self-contained unit, these stations include their own flushing liquid.
• Flushing liquid must be maintained when not in use, and refilled or replaced after use.
Features and Specifications:
• Must be positioned 33-45” from the floor.
• Must be positioned at least 6” away from a wall or nearest obstruction.
• Plumbed units must deliver 3 GPM tepid flushing liquid for 15 mins.
• Self-contained units must deliver 3 GPM tepid flushing liquid for 15 mins.
• Heads and flushing liquid are required to be protected from airborne contaminants without causing additional motion by the user for removal.
• Must activate in one second or less.
• Must be a stay-open valve which leaves the user’s hands free.
• The valve must remain on until the user shuts it off.
• The equipment is required to be located a maximum of 10 seconds away from the hazardous location. Where harsh acids and caustics are present, consult a medical professional on the appropriate proximity.
• Location must be well-lit and incorporate a highly visible identification sign.
• Location must be on the same level as the hazard.
• Path of travel to the safety station must be obstruction-free.
Maintenance and Training
• Activate eyewash stations weekly to ensure proper operation.
• Maintain self-contained stations according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Train all employees in the use of the equipment who might be exposed to chemical splashes and other hazards.
• All eyewash equipment shall must be inspected annually to verify compliance with ANSI Z358.1 requirements.