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Eyewash Recommendations

According to American National Standards Institute, (ANSI Standard Z358.1, 1998), an eyewash must supply a controlled flow of water to both eyes simultaneously at a velocity low enough not to injure the user. It must deliver at least 3 gallons per minute for 15 minutes at a minimum of 30 psi of flow pressure. It must be large enough to provide room for the eyelids to be held open with the hands while the eyes are in the stream of water. If a nozzle has a protective cover, it shouldn't require a separate action by the operator to activate the wash and remove the cover. The water flow must remain on without requiring the use of the operator's hands and remain on until it is intentionally shut off. The valve that provides water and the sink itself must be resistant to corrosion. The eyewash should supply tepid water. Squeeze bottle-type eyewashes may be used at a workstation to support plumbed units, but cannot be used as a substitute for a plumbed eyewash.

Provide an emergency eyewash where employees can easily access it, in a well-lighted area identified with a sign. Be sure that no sharp projections are present in the area of the eyewash. When installing the eyewash, locate it in an area that requires no more than 10 seconds for employees to reach (approximately 100 feet). This area must be on the same floor (level) as the area where employees are exposed to hazardous chemicals. Be sure the eyewash is protected from freezing and that the nozzles are protected from airborne contaminants. Locate the nozzles at least 33-35 inches from the floor and 6 inches from the wall or nearest obstruction.

Routine Maintenance
Activate weekly to flush the line and verify proper operation. Closer distances are advised for greater hazards such as caustic chemicals and harsh acids.

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