The presence of emergency equipment is not meaningful if the equipment is not maintained to be in working condition at all times.
To ensure that the eyewash or shower unit is in proper working order, the equipment owner should always follow the care instructions provided by the equipment manufacturer. This is especially true for self-contained units as the care criteria may vary given the number of flushing fluid options.
Equipment owners should be aware of the maintenance schedules found in the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 standard.
The standard calls for visual inspection of all self-contained devices to determine if the flushing fluid needs to be changed or supplemented. Visual inspections shall be conducted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Self-contained equipment needs to be cleaned. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning schedule.
Table 1 provides replacement schedules for eyewash flushing fluids.
Flushing Fluid Type
Recommended Replacement Schedule
|Tap water only||Weekly.|
|Tap water mixed with a manufacturer’s preservative||Test mixture to identify bacterial loads and determine a maintenance cycle. Manufacturer’s recommend fluid changes of three to six months.|
|Tap water mixed with a factory-prepared liquid concentrate plus an additive||Same as above.|
|Factory-sealed cartridges||Expiration date of cartridge.|
Other important things to look at during the weekly inspection are the lighting and signage around the eyewash, eye/face wash or shower station. The ANSI standard states that the eyewash station shall be well-lit and have a highly visible sign positioned so it is identifiable in the area it serves.
Plumbed devices must be tested weekly for a period long enough to verify operation and to ensure thatflushing fluid is available. This is needed to flush out sediment and microbes, and to make certain
flushing fluid is available at the shower head and the overall device is in working order.
The purpose of the weekly activation on plumbed emergency equipment is to ensure there is flushing fluid supply at the delivery head of the device and to clear the supply line of any sediment build-up that could
prevent fluid delivery and to minimize microbial contamination due to standing water.
While not intended the be a full 15-minute flow test, the duration of this test is dependent on the volume of water contained in
the unit itself and all sections of pipe that do not form part of a constant circulation system. Water in these sections is static until a flow is activated by opening a valve.
The goal is to flush out stagnant water
in these “dead leg” portions completely. Consideration must also be given to systems that include mixing valves for hot and cold water supplies. Additionally, oxidizing media is available that can be placed in
heated and storage tanks and in dead leg areas to eliminate microbial growth and limit contamination for extended periods.
All equipment must be inspected annually to ensure the device conforms to installation requirements.
This applies to both plumbed and self-contained equipment.
Annual testing is necessary to ensure the equipment functions properly and to ensure any changes in the area have not affected the safe use and operation of the equipment.
At a minimum, the equipment must perform according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes functional aspects such as placement of the spray heads, shower handle and the equipment itself in
relation to the hazard. Site evaluation and testing results should be recorded and maintained to assure continued compliance to ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014.
The equipment owner should correct any and all situations that prevent a clear path to reach the equipment and ensure that the area remains well-lit and is easily identifiable.
For the annual inspection, flow meters or other measuring devices can be used to make sure the facilitie’s units are in proper working order with the correct amount of flow.
Always inspect and test the unit if you have any doubt about its dependability. Identify problems or concerns and establish a regular maintenance program. Consult the manufacturer's operating manual and ANSI Z358.1-2009 for assistance with test procedures, maintenance operations and training.