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Emergency Eyewash and Shower Units
Safety Instruction Number:76
Last Update:Tue, 12/21/2010
This Safety Instruction outlines the requirements for the maintenance and use of emergency eyewash and safety shower units.
- Emergency eyewash units are required in all areas where employees handle substances that are potentially injurious when in contact with the eyes, including areas where corrosive materials are used..
- Emergency showers are needed wherever there is a possibility that either highly corrosive or highly toxic chemicals may splash over substantial areas of the body.
- OR-OSHA rules related to this equipment are outlined below. The American National Standard Institute also has current standards for this equipment.
Oregon-OSHA minimum standards for Emergency Eyewash and Shower units:
- Located within a 10-second, unobstructed walking distance.
- Water quantity must be sufficient to sustain a flow for at least 15 minutes.
- Install according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Must have a stay-open valve to allow for hands-free operation.
- Testing, water pressure, and flow rate to follow manufacturer’s criteria.
- Clean, sanitary and operating correctly.
- For self-contained eye-wash systems: do not use solutions past their expiration date.
- Facilities Services (FS) will perform monthly inspections on Emergency Eyewash units and annual inspections on Emergency Shower units located in common areas such as hallways and corridors.
- All Emergency Shower units will be tested and maintained by FS regardless of location due to special equipment needed to contain the discharge water.
- Departments are responsible for monthly inspections of Emergency Eyewash units within their laboratories.
It is important to regularly activate and test eye-wash units. Routine activation ensures that water quality and other safety features are maintained. Departments are responsible for the following items on a monthly basis:
- Ensure access to the unit is unobstructed.
- Verify protective eyewash covers are properly positioned, clean, and intact.
- Check that the bowl and spouts are clean and free of trash.
- Place a container under the drainpipe to collect the discharge water if not plumbed to sewer.
- Verify that protective eyewash covers come off when activated.
- Check that water flows from both eyepieces and that the streams of water meet.
- Check that water drains from the bowl.
- Verify that flow continues until the paddle is moved to its resting position.
- Document the inspection date and initial the attached inspection card.
- Affix additional inspection cards to the eyewash unit.
- Report any maintenance problems to FS at 737-2969.
Principal investigators, as supervisors, are responsible for initial and annual refresher training of all laboratory workers in the location and proper use of Emergency Eyewash and Shower units. This training must be documented as part of the laboratory’s Chemical Hygiene Plan. This Safety Instruction may be used for training purposes in addition to the manufacturer’s instructions