ALERT Upcoming Webinar | Leveraging Technology to Improve Safety in the Workplace | Thurs., Oct 28 at 1PM ET
Question

Should my workplace use plumbed or portable eyewash stations?

Answer
By Chris O'Donnell | Last updated: May 20, 2018
Presented by Radians

With more than 20,000 work-related eye injuries reported every year, it’s important to take eyewash safety seriously. OSHA regulations require that eyewash stations be available on any work site where employees could be exposed to injurious corrosive materials (see Emergency Eyewash Stations: What the Z358 Standard Means for Your Workplace to learn more).

But with a choice of plumbed or portable eyewash stations, how do you know what type is right for your team?

Plumbed Eyewash Stations

Plumbed eyewash stations are permanently connected to a water source. Since they rely on a plumbing system to get a supply of water, they're not a feasible option for every work site. Jobs that take place mainly outdoors and away from a dedicated facility will not be able to use a plumbed system.

Advertisement

Plumbed eyewash stations also require more work because they need to be carefully maintained. Poor maintenance can result in the growth of bacteria due to water remaining stagnant. Sediment can also build up in the lines, which can reduce the amount of water that is supplied to the eyes.

Portable Eyewash Stations

Portable eyewash stations consist of self-contained, gravity-fed units containing an approved sterile solution. They are more compact than the plumbed stations and they can be mounted in small or confined spaces. Their portability means they are suited for any work site, even if there is no access to plumbing. They are also less expensive than plumbed units.

One of the main downsides is that the fluid containers need to be replaced after each use and after a specified amount of time.

Which to Use in Your Workplace

If you have access to a water line, you have a choice between these types of eyewash stations. So, which is best?

The full answer will depend on the particular features of your workplace, including the size of the workforce and the hazards they face. If enough of your workers face chemical hazards, a plumbed station might make sense. This will only be the right choice, however, if your team is comfortable both with the additional expense and the maintenance schedule that comes with using a plumbed system.

For all other situations, a portable station generally makes more sense. It is cost- and space-efficient, portable, and requires minimal maintenance.

Want to learn more? Get our Eyewash Fast Facts to make sure you're ANSI Z358.1 complaint!

Share this Q&A

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Tags

Safety Equipment Best Practices Eye Protection Emergency Response Above the Neck Protection

Presented By

Logo for Radians

Written by Chris O'Donnell | Product Manager for Hearing Protection

Profile Picture of Chris O'Donnell
Chris O’Donnell, the Radians Product Manager for hearing protection, has over two decades of experience wearing a multitude of hats in sales, marketing, business development, and product design and development. His extensive safety knowledge in hearing protection allows him to develop and market innovative hearing protection devices that take advantage of today’s technology and science while meeting the strict safety standards that govern HPD’s.

More Q&As from our experts

Related Articles

Go back to top