Safety in the Workplace: ANSI Z358.1-2014 Eyewash Requirements
When it comes to accidents in the workplace, timing is everything. With an area as sensitive as the eyes, every second after exposure to a corrosive substance is critical.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has developed a set of standards pertaining to eyewash stations in the workplace, the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014. These standards, relating to the signage, location, and technical requirements of eyewash stations are set to prevent severe injuries from occurring post-accident, whenever possible. This article will briefly review standards and regulations set for eye wash stations in the workplace.
Areas that May Require Eyewash StationsThe Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) 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." (29 CFR 1910.151(c)) These areas may include:
- Nursing Homes
- Dental Offices
- Manufacturing Plants
- High Dust Areas
- Field Locations
- Construction Sites
- Hazardous Substances Dispensing Areas
- Battery Charging Rooms
ANSI Requirements for Eyewash StationsBelow you'll find a few examples of ANSI requirements for eye wash stations in the workplace where it pertains to signage, location, and technical requirements.
Signage and Labeling
- The eyewash station should be identified with a “highly visible sign” or label. The signage must be in close proximity to the eyewash station for quick identification. (Section 6.4.3)
- It is recommended that the sign includes a symbol that identifies the equipment as an eyewash station, so that language skills are not required in order to identify the eyewash station.
- According to ANSI/NEMA Z535 and OSHA, safety and first aid equipment (i.e. eyewash stations) signage and labels should be green.
- The worker should be able to reach the emergency station in no more than 10 seconds. Generally speaking, the eyewash station should be located within 55 feet from the hazard. (Section 6.4.2; B5)
- The eye wash station should be located on the same floor as the hazard. (Section 6.4.2; B5)
- There should be an unobstructed, straight path from the hazard to the eyewash station. (Section 6.4.2; B5)
- The water temperature of the eyewash station should be “tepid”, or between 60°F and 100°F. (Section 6.4.6; B6)
- Eyewash station units should include a hands-free, stay-open valve that activates in one second or less. (Section 6.1.4, 6.2)
- Eyewash station units must deliver water at 20 gallons per minute, for a full 15 minutes. (Section 6.1.6, 6.4.5)