Eyewash Fast Facts
How Often Should Eyewash Stations Be Checked?
Employee safety is an important responsibility that extends beyond simply having the right equipment in place. When an accident happens, the right equipment must operate properly in order to provide the type of emergency treatment capable of avoiding serious injury.
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 requirements. The key components of ANSI Z358.1 for eyewash maintenance include:
Weekly. While individual owners’ manuals of specific equipment should be checked for additional guidelines, ANSI protocol requires devices to be inspected, tested, and the results recorded weekly.
Major eyewash manufacturers will provide an inspection tag with each unit. That tag should be initialed and dated to verify an inspection has occurred. Inspections should ensure the following:
- Safety equipment is installed within 10 seconds from the hazard.
- The pathway to the eyewash station is on the same plane and free from obstruction.
- The eye wash station should be activated to verify proper operation (per ANSI Z358.1) and to clear any sediment accumulation. Allow the unit to run for 1-3 minutes during this phase.
- Self-contained stations should be checked to determine whether the flushing fluid needs to be checked or supplemented.
- Eyewash safety stations do not suffer from broken or missing parts.
- The equipment is protected against freezing.
- The eyewash station user is protected against scalding water.
- Know where the drains are - Often a bucket or tray must be used under the unit’s drain to collect the water.
- Have a roll of paper towels on hand - water leakage and splashing can occur during the inspection.
- A larger tray may be needed during the inspection of eyewash stations that pull down from the wall in order to activate.
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