What are some of the key standards regulating emergency showers and eyewash stations?

Q:

What are some of the key standards regulating emergency showers and eyewash stations?

A:

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.151

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.151, Subpart k, sec.c states that “Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick, drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use”

ANSI Z358.1-2014

The ANSI Z358.1-2014 standard is a national consensus standard that provides performance, safety, placement, and testing details on emergency eyewash and shower equipment.

Emergency Shower and Eyewash Placement

Emergency showers and eyewashes shall be in accessible locations that require no more than ten seconds to reach. The equipment shall be located on the same level as the hazard and the path of travel shall be free of obstructions that may inhibit its immediate use. It is recognized that the average person covers a distance of approximately 55 ft. in ten seconds when walking at a normal pace.

The physical and emotional state of a potential victim (visually impaired with some level of discomfort/pain, and possibly in a state of panic) should be considered, along with the likelihood of personnel in the immediate area who are able to assist the affected worker. The installer should also consider other potential hazards that may be adjacent to the path of travel that might cause further injury.

Testing Emergency Showers and Eyewashes

Equipment shall be tested weekly to verify proper operation and inspected annually for conformity to the standard.

Testing should be for a period long enough to verify operation and ensure that flushing fluid is available. All equipment should provide 15 minutes of drenching/flushing time.

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Written by Paula Graney
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Paula Graney is the Safety Sales Manager-East for Speakman, a company that specializes in bath and shower products, including emergency equipment.

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