When does OSHA require an emergency eyewash and/or shower ?

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When does OSHA require an emergency eyewash and/or shower ?

Eyewash Station

For general industry worksites, 29CFR1910.151(c)states:

“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 applies in all general industry situations unless a vertical standard applies to a specific hazard.

 

Examples include:

■    29 CFR 1910.124(g)(2) – dipping and coating

■    29 CFR 1910.261(b)(2) – pulp, paper and paperboard mills

■    29 CFR 1910.268(g)(18) – telecommunications

■    29 CFR 1910.1048(i) – formaldehyde

■    29 CFR 1910.1052(i) – methylene chloride


For construction worksites,29 CFR 1926.50(g) states:

“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 1926.50(g) applies in all construction situations, except battery handling is addressed in 29 CFR 1926.441(a)(6), which states:

“Facilities for quick drenching of the eyes and body shall be provided within 25 feet (7.62 meters) of battery handling areas.”

Materials that can cause damage to the eyes or skin, or materials that are readily absorbed through the skin. They can be in the following forms:

m liquids (most common);

■    solids;

■    gases;

■    vapors; and

■    mists


Methods to determine if a material can damage the eye and skin or can be absorbed through the skin

• Consult the “Health hazard” section of the manufacturer’s material safety data sheet (MSDS).
– Indications of irritation may not require eyewash or shower.
– Indications of burns, corneal damage, blindness or eye damage will confirm the need for an emergency eyewash and/or shower if apotential for employee exposure exists.

• Directly consult with the manufacturer of the material.

Consult the NIOSH “Pocket guide to chemical hazards” (NIOSH publication no. 2005-149, available at www.cdc.gov/NIOSH.

– If it states “Provide: eyewash and/or quick drench,” an emergency eyewash and/or shower will be needed if a potential for employee exposure exists.

 

For liquids, determine the pH of the solution (an indication of acidity or alkalinity).
pH = – log10 (H+)
pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in a liquid solution.

 

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