What are the OSHA Eyewash Station Requirements?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a U.S. agency responsible for enforcing regulations related to workplace safety and health. OSHA requires eyewash stations in workplaces where employees may be exposed to hazardous materials that can cause injury or damage to the eyes. The requirements for eyewash stations are outlined in the OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.151(c) and the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 standard.
Key OSHA requirements for eyewash stations include:
1. Accessibility: Eyewash stations must be located within a 10-second travel time (approximately 55 feet) from areas where hazardous materials are used or stored. They should be installed on the same level as the hazard and must be easily accessible without obstacles or barriers.
2. Proper signage: Eyewash stations should be clearly marked with highly visible signs so employees can quickly locate them during an emergency.
3. Potable water or eyewash solution: Eyewash stations should provide a continuous flow of clean, potable water or a suitable eyewash solution for at least 15 minutes to effectively flush the eyes.
4. Hands-free operation: Eyewash stations must allow for hands-free operation, typically using a foot pedal or a push handle, so that the user can focus on keeping their eyes open and properly positioned under the eyewash nozzles.
5. Nozzle height and design: The eyewash nozzles should be positioned between 33 and 53 inches above the floor and designed to prevent further injury to the eyes.
6. Regular inspection and maintenance: Employers are required to regularly inspect and maintain eyewash stations to ensure they are clean, functional, and ready for use during an emergency.
7. Employee training: Employees should be trained on the proper use of eyewash stations, including how to locate and activate them, as well as the importance of seeking medical attention after using the station.
By complying with these OSHA requirements, employers can ensure that their workplaces provide a safe environment for employees and minimize the risk of eye injuries caused by hazardous materials.