The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 to ensure safe and healthful working conditions in facilities across our country. OSHA fulfills its responsibility by inspecting workplaces and issuing consequences that range from citations to monetary penalties or even facility shut-downs.
OSHA’s requirements for emergency eyewash stations and showers can be found in standard 29 CFR 1910.151(c), which states, “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.”
For additional clarification, employers regularly look to the voluntary American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z358.1-2014 Standard for Emergency Eyewashes and Shower Equipment. ANSI Z358.1 guides users when selecting and installing the proper equipment to satisfy the requirements of OSHA.
Here are some helpful tips to consider:
- Does not require permanent plumbing connections.
- Versatility - can be moved if the locations of hazards and workspaces change.
- Available in pressurized (job site versatility) or gravity-fed (easily moved within the facility) models.
- Gravity fed can be wall-mounted, mobile cart mounted, or bench-top mounted, while pressurized units are compliant when resting on the ground.
Portable units must be treated with a bacteriostatic solution that keeps the potable water free from bacteria. The treated water needs to be changed every six months and refilled to ensure clean and safe flushing of the eyes.
- Installed with the facility’s plumbing or connected to existing supply lines.
- Incorporate stay-open valves that do not shut off unless manually overridden according to ANSI standards.
- Available in a variety of materials options and price points.
- Mounting options include wall-mounted, pedestal, faucet-mounted, deck-mounted, and more.
ANSI standards require the flushing fluid to be between 60 and 100 degrees fahrenheit. To ensure that your flushing fluid reliably remains within the appropriate range, a thermostatic mixing valve can be used to accurately blend cold and hot water.