1/1/2016

North America

ANSI Z358.1 Shower and eye wash standard (1910.151 OSHA)

The General Requirements in section 29 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 1910.151 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.”

Tepid flushing fluid is considered necessary in all types of emergency equipment applications. Tepid is defined in the standard, as "A flushing fluid temperature conducive to promoting a minimum 15-minute irrigation period. A suitable range is 16–38°C (60–100°F)" (Definitions p.8). Generally, temperatures higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit may cause chemical interactions with the skin and result in further damage. At 60 degrees Fahrenheit and below hypothermia becomes a concern.

Consulting a safety/ health advisor will be a helpful aid in the determination of the best temperature parameters. No two hazards are exactly the same and each should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Emergency fixtures must take no more than 10 seconds to reach and the path to the fixture must not be hindered with obstructions. Therefore, not only is the location of the fixture critical, but also being sure the area nearby is free of debris or other hazards that may impede its use. Appendix B5 notes the suggested distance of 55 feet as a guideline of what type of area may be covered within 10 seconds.

In an emergency situation one’s vision may be impaired. Therefore, emergency equipment requires what ANSI describes as a “highly visible sign.” This signage must be in close proximity to the emergency equipment for quick identification. Adequate lighting must also be provided in the area surrounding emergency equipment. Employees must be made aware of the location and operation of emergency equipment.

Even the best emergency products won’t be able to serve their purpose if employees are unaware of where they are or how to use them.



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