Emergency Eye Washing

Posted by Kahla Livelsberger in #YHSafetyTips, Jan 31, 2018

When selecting your emergency eyewash and shower equipment, you have to know the requirements and compliance standards and you should reference ANSI/ISEA Z358.1, “Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment.” This standard is a guideline for the proper selection, installation, operation and maintenance of emergency equipment. Per OSHA, the primary regulation is contained in 29 CFR 1910.151, which requires 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.”


1.) First Aid Devices
Everyone should have an emergency eyewash and shower station. They are a form of first aid to be used when an accident happens. This does not mean you should not wear eye and face protection.

2.) Location of Emergency Equipment
You should have the wash station located within 10 seconds (approximately 25 feet) in walking time when you enter the building. It should also be on the same floor as the potential hazard. You should not have to go up and down the steps to get to the wash station, or have to pass through a door.

3.) Water Temperature
The water temperature should be tepid, which means between 60 degrees and 100 degrees for a minimum of 15 minute irrigation period.

4.) Shut off Valves
You should have a shut off valve installed for maintenance purposes. Only maintenace should be allowed to unlock the valve.

5.) Corrosion Resistance
The wash station must be made of material that will not corrode. Some examples of materials would be epoxy coated galvanized steel, epoxy coated brass, stainless steel, & PVC

6.) Freezing
You have to protect your emergency wash station from freezing. Many times they are installed in outdoor areas, and also in loading docks and low temperature facilities.

7.) Disposal of Water
It is highly recommended that your wash stations are connected to drain piping. Floor drains should be provided if they are not.

8.) Emergency Response
Just because you have the wash station does not mean you are safe. You have to train your workers on the proper procederes of the station and how to use it for their own safety. You should also have a response plan if someone were to need the wash station.

9.) Signage
You should have a high visibility sign above the station so it is easily noticable and also have the area well lit.


-Begin flushing quickly as soon you can. The first 10 seconds are crucial.
-You should wash out your eyes for about 20 minutes, although the chart below is how long you should wash based on the chemical.
-Have someone contact 911 immediately
-Notify your supervisor

Check out our blog post on Eye Safety and Appropriate Attire

Last week's post was on the Whistleblower Protection Program. Read it here

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