The ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 establishes minimum performance, installation, use and maintenance requirements for eyewash equipment in the emergency situation under hazardous conditions. Here are some of the most common causes for ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 non-compliance: missing dust covers expose nozzles to airborne contaminants, lack of proper signage on the equipment, poor lighting around the wash station, providing the improper equipment for the application (for instance, an eyewash instead of a face and eye wash), physical obstructions on the way to eyewash stations (a closed door), incorrect assembly of the unit parts (improper alignment of showerheads), lack of flow control to the eye wash, not providing the tepid water, insufficient water pressure and flow rate. Statistics shows that the most common reason for non-compliance is the inability to maintain the required flow rate when both shower and eye/face wash are activated at the same time (a standard requirement since 2009).
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
For the first time in 25 years, OSHA penalties for non-compliance have increased by 80 percent starting from August 1, 2016 in all states regulated by OSHA. It is time to ensure your workplace emergency response equipment meets the ANSI/OSEA Z358.1-2014 Standard to keep your workers safe and avoid those costly penalties. To ensure you are meeting all the necessary requirements, activate all eyewashes, drench showers and drench hose systems to ensure they are fully operational in case of an emergency. Replace any broken or missing parts immediately. Remove any obstructions or trip hazards on the way to the wash station area. Protect equipment against the extreme temperatures. Today, just providing emergency showers and eyewashes isn’t enough, monitoring their condition is as important. Get started by taking the following steps:
When working with chemicals, check their safety data sheets for first aid instructions
Select eyewash equipment: plumbed if water source is available, and self-contained if there is no water source
Place eyewash stations in proper locations, within a 10-second walking distance (about 55 feet) from a hazardous area. This is a new requirement as of 2016, so be sure to check the locations of your stations!
Make sure all parts work properly: valves, heads, and drainage system
Use potable water, i.e. water that is safe for drinking
Use tepid water: 60-100°F
Ensure eyewash uses correct water pressure: 0.4 gallons per minute for 15 minutes
Train employees on how to use an eyewash station
Label equipment and routes with appropriate signs
Test eyewash regularly: turn the system on once a week to flush the water
Work sites that are required to provide wash stations include laboratories, high dust areas, spraying and dipping operations, battery charging and hazardous substance dispensing areas, etc.