Get detailed instructions on complying with OSHA's regulation on emergency eyewash and shower equipment with ANSI Z358.1 - 2004
ANSI Z358.1 - 2004 American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment is one of several regulations that refer to the use of emergency eye wash and shower equipment. This standard is intended to serve as a guideline for the proper design, performance, installation, use and maintenance of emergency equipment (showers, eye washes, drench hoses, etc.).
These include the following:
- First Aid Devices
- Emergency Response
- Location of Emergency Equipment
- Water Temperature
- Disposal of Water
ANSI Z358.1 was originally adopted in 1981. It was rewritten in 1990, 1998 and again in 2004. A Compliance Checklist summarizes and graphically presents the provisions of the 2004 version of the standard.
ANSI Z358.1-2004 contains provisions regarding the design, performance, installation, use and maintenance of various types of emergency equipment (showers, eye washes, drench hoses, etc.). In addition to these provisions, there are some general considerations that apply to all emergency equipment. These considerations may not necessarily be part of the standard, but we believe that they should be addressed when considering emergency equipment. These include the following:
First Aid Devices - Emergency eye wash and shower units are designed to deliver water to rinse contaminants from a user’s eyes, face or body. As such, they are a form of first aid equipment to be used in the event of an accident. However, they are not a substitute for primary protective devices (including eye and face protection and protective clothing) or for safe procedures for handling hazardous materials.
Emergency Response - Simply installing emergency equipment is not a sufficient means of assuring worker safety. Employees must be trained in the location of emergency equipment and in its proper use. Emergency equipment must be regularly maintained (including weekly activation of the equipment) to assure that it is in working order and inspected at least annually for compliance with the standard. Most importantly, employers should develop a response plan to be used in the event that an accident does occur. The focus of the response plan should be to provide assistance to the injured worker as quickly as possible. We offer a variety of alarm systems which may be installed in conjunction with our emergency equipment. They serve to alert personnel and summon assistance if an eye wash or shower is activated. WE RECOMMEND INSTALLING AN ALARM UNIT WITH ANY EMERGENCY EYE WASH OR SHOWER UNIT.
Location of Emergency Equipment - In general, the ANSI standard provides that emergency equipment be installed within 10 seconds walking time from the location of a hazard. The equipment must be installed on the same level as the hazard (i.e. accessing the equipment should not require going up or down stairs or ramps). The path of travel from the hazard to the equipment should be free of obstructions and as straight as possible.
However, there are certain circumstances where these guidelines may not be adequate. For example, where workers are handling particularly strong acids, caustics or other materials where the consequences of a spill would be very serious, emergency equipment should be installed immediately adjacent to the hazard.
Laboratory environments may also require special consideration. It is common in many laboratory buildings to install emergency equipment in a corridor or hallway outside of the lab room. This may satisfy the provisions of the standard but still not provide workers with immediate access to emergency equipment. In these cases, we recommend installing combination eye wash/drench hose units at lab sinks (see page 7). These units are highly accessible and versatile. They provide immediate protection for the eyes, face or body when a spill involves a relatively small amount of hazardous material.
Water Temperature - The 2004 version of the standard states that the water temperature delivered by emergency equipment should be “tepid” (i.e. moderately warm or lukewarm). However, where it is possible that a chemical reaction might be accelerated by warm water, a medical professional should be consulted to determine what the optimum water temperature would be.
The delivery of tepid water to emergency equipment may raise complicated engineering issues. At a minimum, it generally involves providing both hot and cold water to the unit, and then installing a blending valve to mix the water to the desired temperature.
Disposal of Water - The standard does not include any provisions regarding the disposal of waste water. However, designers must give consideration to where waste water will go. In particular, care must be taken that waste water not create a hazard (i.e. by creating a pool in which someone might slip) or freeze.
Generally, eye wash, eye/face wash and safety station units are designed with waste connections for connection to drain piping. We recommend that emergency eye wash and shower units be connected to drain piping. For emergency showers AND FOR OTHER UNITS WITHOUT WASTE CONNECTIONS, floor drains should be provided. After an emergency eye wash or shower has been used, the waste water may contain hazardous materials that cannot or should not be introduced into a sanitary sewer. It may be necessary to connect the drain piping from the emergency equipment or floor drain to the building’s acid waste disposal system or to a neutralizing tank.