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    OSHA Mandates Eyewash Stations

    By Mark Conroy

    The number of workplace eye injuries in the US is staggering—over 20,000 every year (U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). And those injuries cost employers an estimated $300 million in lost production, medical, and worker compensation (OSHA). Consequently,
    OSHA mandates eyewash stations to help mitigate these eye injuries.

    Here is how to keep your customers OSHA compliant.

    The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that employers provide and maintain eyewash stations. The Code of Federal Regulations citations for eyewash stations are:

    • Corrosive Materials* - Where a worker’s eyes can be exposed to corrosive materials “suitable facilities” (eyewash stations) are required – 29 CFR 1910.151(c).
    • Human Blood - Laboratories that deal with human blood (hospitals and clinics) are required to have eyewash stations – 29 CFR 1910. 1030(e)(3)(i)
    • Formaldehyde - Eyewash stations are required for potential formaldehyde exposure (paints, adhesives, glues, and resins) – 29 CFR 1910.1048(i)(3).

    Common Corrosives* Locations
    Battery Acid Construction, Industrial, Automotive, Farming, Marinas, Warehouses
    Sodium Hydroxide Textiles, Aluminum Process, Manufacturing – bleach/soap/detergent/drain cleaner
    Anhydrous Ammonia Refrigeration, Pharmaceuticals, Petroleum, Laboratories
    Hydrochloric Acid Chemical Laboratories, Schools, Universities
    Pesticide/Herbicide Farms, Landscaping, Nurseries, Greenhouses, Agriculture
    Chlorine Bleach Pools, Spas, Janitorial, Hospitals, Breweries

    Plumbed or Self Contained

    Section 411 of the International Plumbing Code, used or adopted in 35 states (check locally), requires eyewash stations to meet ANSI Z358.1. Although permanent plumbed eyewash stations are preferable, they are often not practical, so selfcontained eyewash stations that meet ANSI Z358.1 are installed and meet the 15-minute flushing criteria. Supplemental protection is at the discretion of the employer. The general rule of thumb for installing Saline-Wall-Stations (first aid) is 30 ft from each hazard area.

    Required Eyewash Stations
    ANSI Z358.1 Products P/N
    Eyewash Station (Empty) 1000ES
    Fluid Cartridges (2) 1000FC
    Supplemental Protection
    Wall Stations P/N
    Single Bottle (16 oz) 460ES
    Single Bottle (32 oz) 461ES
    Double Bottle (32 oz) 462ES
    Saline Refills
    Size P/N
    16 oz 454EB
    32 oz 455EB


    The emergency eyewash areas (stations and supplemental) need signage for ease of identifying locations. Either a flush sign (RP176) or a 3-D sign (PTD176) should be installed in the vicinity of each location.


    These products require regular inspections and replacements as needed. The eyewash station cartridges have a two-year shelf life and each saline bottle is single use only (tamperproof, twist-off tab can’t be replaced after removal). Check stations and supplemental protection at least monthly and carry replacements. The best method for keeping track is to initial and date inspection tags (EWTAG).

    Employers want safe workplaces. Installing and maintaining eyewash stations and supplemental protection will ensure safety and will help your customers avoid costly fines for noncompliance.

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    Mark Conroy is an engineer and code compliance specialist in our Boston, MA offi ce. © 2017 Brooks Equipment.

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above Tech Series article are the author’s only and provide limited information. Although the information is believed to be reliable, Brooks Equipment Company, LLC expressly disclaims any warranty with respect to the information and any liability for errors or omissions. The user of this article or the product(s) is responsible for verifying the information’s accuracy from all available sources, including the product manufacturer. The authority having jurisdiction should be contacted for code interpretations.