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Eye Wash Station

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Although it may be a good idea in any workplace, the presence of an eye wash station is especially important in an environment where hazardous chemicals are in use. In fact, OSHA regulations state that an eyewash station must be installed in an accessible place wherever corrosive materials are present. Environments where formaldehyde is used in a concentration greater than 0.1% must also have eyes wash stations in easily accessible locations as well.

A Few Points to Consider About Eye Wash Stations

There are several points, mandated by OSHA, to consider when preparing to install eye wash stations. Installing the station in an accessible location is very important. Any location that is upstairs, around corners, through closed doors, or in any other way physically separated from the work environment is considered an inadequate location for an eye wash station. Eye wash stations must be immediately accessible in the event of an emergency.

One-handed activation of water flow, commonly provided in the form of a pull-down lever, is also very important. Many eye wash stations are operated a lever that, once activated, does not require the application of any other force to stay on. For some applications, a pull-down lever that activates a pair of water nozzles and provides a combination of eye wash and face wash is adequate. For other applications, a station that includes a drench shower may be more appropriate.

For any application, and any degree of danger, an uninterrupted 15-minute flow time is necessary. Once activated, it is important that the eye wash station operates for at least 15 minutes, and provides at least three gallons (11.4 liters) of tepid or cool water per minute. Some eye wash stations may substitute a pH-balanced saline solution for tap water, because tap water can be damaging to the eyes.


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