- Standard Number:
OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.
November 22, 1993
Mr. Mark Hageness
Claims/Loss Prevention Manager
4555 Glacier Lane
North Plymouth, Minnesota 55446
Dear Mr. Hageness:
Thank you for your inquiry of October 13, requesting an interpretation of OSHA's requirements for plumbed emergency eyewash requirements as they apply to faucet-mount emergency.
The OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.151(c) requires eyewash and shower equipment for emergency use where the eyes or body of and employee may be exposed to injurious materials. For details on emergency eyewash and shower equipment, we reference consensus standard ANSI Z358.1-1990.
Some of the specifications of ANSI Z358.1-1990 are listed as follows: Plumbed emergency eyewash units must be able to deliver not less than 1.5 liters (.4 gallons) of clean water per minute. The water must be readily available to wash both eyes simultaneously and the flushing streams must rise to approximately equal heights. The emergency eyewash units must be designed to provide flushing water velocities which are not injurious to the eyes. The eyewash area must be spacious enough to allow the eyelids to be held open, with both hands at once, while the eyes are in the water streams. The nozzles must be protected to prevent freezing of the flushing water in cold weather and contact with airborne contaminants. Nozzle covers must not require a separate motion by the operator to be removed when activating the emergency eyewash unit. The flow control valve must be designed so the water flow remains on without requiring the use of the operator's hands. The flow valve must be simple to operate and must go "on" in 1 second or less and must be resistant to corrosion from potable water. The flow valve actuator must be large enough to be easily located and easy to operate.
We are unable to send you a copy of the ANSI Z358.1-1990, standard because of copyright restrictions. The ANSI address and telephone number are as follows:
American National Standards Institution
New York, New York 10018
Telephone Number (212) 642-4900
In order to be in compliance with 1910.151(c), the faucet-mount emergency eyewash station must meet the above listed specifications. The determination will have to be made on a case by case basis, with the following as critical factors:
1. The flow valve must be simple to operate and must go "on" in 1 second or less and remain "on" during the eyewash procedure.
2. Plumbed emergency eyewash units must be able to deliver not less than 1.5 liters (.4 gallons) of clean water per minute.
We appreciate your interest in employee safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Roger A. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs