OSHA Regulations and ANSI
Paragraph (c) of 29 CFR
1910.151 requires that suitable
facilities for quick drenching or
flushing be provided within the
work area for immediate use if an
employee's eyes or body may be
exposed to corrosive materials.
The OSHA standard does not,
however, provide specific
instruction regarding the
installation and operation of
emergency eyewash and shower
equipment, because it refers to
ANSI to establish the standard.
The ANSI standard is the
recognized source of guidance to
comply with OSHA 1910.151(c)
Standards Applied: ANSI Z358.1 (2004 Edition)
- Establishes minimum performance
requirements for eyewash and shower
equipment for the emergency treatment of the
eyes or body of a person who has been exposed
to injurious materials. It covers the following
types of equipment: emergency shower,
eyewash equipment, eye/face wash equipment,
hand-held drench hoses, and combination
shower and eyewash or eye/face wash.
Why 15 minutes?
• When a corrosive chemical comes into contact with eyes
or skin, tissue damage begins immediately. The affected
area must be irrigated immediately with water
uninterrupted for 15 minutes.
• The first 10 to 15 seconds after exposure to a hazardous
chemical are critical. Delaying treatment, even for a few
seconds, may cause serious injury.
• Emergency showers and eyewash stations provide on-
the-spot decontamination. They allow workers to flush
away hazardous chemicals that can cause injury.
• Are designed to provide a deluge large enough
to encompass the whole body.
• Deliver a potable water at least 20 inches
across, flowing at a rate of at least 20 gallons
• The diameter ensures the entire body receives a
direct, fresh supply of water.
TIP: Don’t forget to install a floor drain or some other
means of proper fluid disposal
that complies with local, state and federal codes. It’s not
an ANSI requirement, but
there can be a lot of clean up if forgotten.
Obstructed Eyewash Example
Consider this scenario:
A worker with bleach
in their eyes, bumping
tables, clothes on
boxes, then finding
the eyewash station
was not hooked up to
10-Second Rule, 100 Feet Rule
The 10-Second Rule
Emergency showers or eyewashes must be accessible within 10
seconds or less of a hazard. To be effective, employees must be
informed and trained on the use and location of emergency
The 100-feet Rule
The travel distance to the eyewash station or shower should not
exceed 100 feet.
TIP: If you asked any employee in your facility to locate the closest
emergency fixture in their work area, could they do so? Employees
change and people are forgetful. Make it a point to periodically
remind workers of nearby safety equipment.
• CAPS- will prevent dirt from getting into the unit
& thus into your eyes when the unit is put into
• Portable- can go anywhere with you
• Approved units hold at least 15 minutes of water.
• Don’t need plumbing with portable units, thus
you can treat areas inaccessible to plumbing
• Test units every 30 days
• Users should be able to locate a unit with their
Watch out for…..
• Portable units can lose water pressure
• Make sure the unit is not a 1-time use unit
• Water can evaporate in some units
• Units are subject to sabotage/vandalism
• Plumbing units are costly
• Eyewash bottles are never a replacement for an actual
• Units must supple fluid to both eyes simultaneously
• Check to make sure the flushing system fluid supply
valve stays open without the use of the operators hands
• The facility should be clearly marked and in an
• Walkways to the eyewash station should always be clear
To obtain a copy of this ANSI
American National standards
11 West 42nd
New York, New York 10036
Phone– (212) 642-4900
Web Site– www.ansi.org