Eyewash Stations – A Safety Necessity

1 Mins read

eyewash stationsRemember your high school chemistry class.  There was that awkward contraption in the middle of the room, looked like a drinking fountain for friends – two could drink at once.  And then your teacher explained to you that this was to protect your eyes in case something corrosive splashed up into them.  You prayed you never had to use it.

CFR 1910.15 (c) requires that a shower or eyewash station must be available in any facility that contains corrosive substances.  The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) Z358.1 sets the standards for the requirements of portable eye wash stations and showers:

  • Eye wash stations and emergency showers should be available in accessible locations, 10 seconds from the hazard.
  • Eye wash stations and emergency showers must deliver 15 minutes of constant flow.
  • They should have an on/off valve, pull-strap or door that activates the wash with one single motion.
  • They must be clearly visible and identified with a sign.

Medical experts say that immediate access to an emergency wash station is critical. The chance of full recovery from chemical contamination of the eye is excellent if the victim reaches an eyewash station within 10 to 15 seconds. Panic, pain, and obscured vision will slow response time, so it is important that emergency wash fixtures be highly visible.

When an eye injury does occur, have an ophthalmologist (eye physician and surgeon), or other medical doctor examine the eye as soon as possible. Although the injury may not look or feel serious, it could still cause serious damage to your eyes. If you have blurred vision, partial loss of vision, double vision, or sharp pains in your eye after an accident, consult an ophthalmologist or go to a hospital emergency room right away.

Don’t learn eye safety by accident, practice safety and be prepared!

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