Q:

What are the OSHA requirements for eye wash stations?

A:

Quick Answer

In general, eye wash stations must be located in an area that takes less than 10 seconds to reach, contains sufficient lighting, and exists on the same level as a possible hazard, according to Grainger. Eye wash stations come in two types.

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Full Answer

Plumbed eye wash stations are permanently connected to a source of water, says Grainger. Gravity-fed eye wash stations contain their own flushing fluid and must be refilled after use. The heads are positioned between 33 to 45 inches above the floor and 6 inches away from the nearest obstruction. Each eye wash station, regardless of the water source, must provide 0.4 gallons of water per minute for 15 minutes. Plumbed units must provide water at 30 pounds per square inch.

Eye wash stations activate in one second or less, and each station has a stay-open valve for hands-free operation, notes Grainger. Workers must test each plumbed station weekly to ensure units work properly when needed. Gravity-fed units are maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions. Eye wash stations get inspected annually.

Each employee who might be exposed to chemical splashes learn how to use the equipment, according to Grainger. Eye wash stations must be positioned closer to workers who handle harsh acids and caustics. Companies should consult medical professionals to ascertain the best distances for eye wash stations with regards to higher hazards.

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