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Is Your Eye Wash Station Compliant?

The OSHA Medical and First Aid Standard 29 CFR 1910.151 ( c ) states “where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use”.

However, OSHA doesn’t clarify minimum standards for ‘suitable facilities’ and therefore, employers often refer to ANSI for guidance.

Emergency eyewashes often go unused for long periods of time. Therefore, it’s important to test them regularly to ensure that they are working correctly when they are required. Most employers refer to ANSI Z358.1-2014 for guidance on what to inspect and be aware of.

ANSI Z358.1-2014 (section 5.5.2) states that plumbed eyewash equipment should be activated on a weekly basis long enough to ensure that flushing fluid is provided. This standard also requires tests of temperature, operation of valves, checks on flushing fluid and whether it needs to be changed, etc. Of course, it is difficult to prove that these checks have been undertaken if records are not kept.

However, in addition to this standard, the manufacturer’s recommendations usually state that devices should be inspected and tested and the results recorded, on a weekly basis.

 

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Do you manage your own eyewash station? Green Guard provides eye-wash station inspection checklists to help you meet compliance easily and affordably.

 

 

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How To Maintain & Clean Your Emergency Eyewash Stations

Emergency Eyewash Station Maintenance

In this guide, we’ll walk you through some best practices on how to keep your eyewash units in tip-top condition, so that you can rest assured that they’ll be ready for action should the unthinkable happen.

Why is maintenance so important?

Eyewash stations are of critical importance in any workplace that works with hazardous, corrosive substances. Using an eyewash in an emergency situation can help prevent scarring, permanent injury and blindness.

Improper maintenance can lead to a number of hazards, which we’ve detailed below.

Infections

Bacteria, amoeba and other disease-causing organisms thrive in stagnant water. If an eyewash station is not regularly flushed and activated for testing purposes, the water within the system will begin to harbor organisms such as legionella, pseudomonas and acanthamoeba, which, if propelled into the eyes, can cause nasty infections such as conjunctivitis.

If the user’s eyes have been damaged (which, after all, is probably the reason they’d be using an eyewash unit in the first place), the risk of infection is even greater.

Corrosion

Over time, iron-containing metals that come into contact with water are liable to oxidize, or rust. Not only can this lead to contamination of the water used in the eyewash station, but it can also cause damage to the unit itself.

Corrosion can cause holes in the pipes supplying the eyewash unit, resulting in leaks, which can cause the eyewash to discharge water at an insufficient pressure, diminishing its ability to properly flush out the eyes of the user.

image of How To Maintain & Clean Your Emergency Eyewash Stations

Blockages

Occasionally, dust, dirt and foreign objects can build up within an eyewash station, especially if it is not operated for a long period of time. This debris can lead to contamination and cause blockages in the pipework.

Blockages can impede the flow of water to the unit, or conversely increase the pressure, sometimes even to levels that can harm the user’s eyes.

Testing

The ANSI regulations, as well as the various other bodies of guidance that pertain to emergency eyewash stations, state that units must be regularly tested, and for good reason.

Regular testing doesn’t just ensure that the unit is functioning correctly – it also helps prevent the water within the unit from sitting and becoming stagnant and helps flush any collected debris through the pipes.

Aside from the weekly functional testing mandated by the ANSI regulations, it is advisable to perform a weekly visual inspection of all eyewash units to ensure that they are free from detritus and in a good state of cleanliness.

The water stored in portable eyewash stations should be changed at least every 120 days. The water should also be treated with water preservative to help keep microbes at bay. Water preservative comes supplied with all of our portable eyewash units.

Cleaning

As with any item of safety equipment, it is crucial that eyewash stations are kept clean and sanitary. This will prevent the buildup of harmful, infection-causing microbes.

When cleaning an eyewash station, use a simple solution of household detergent and hot water. Apply the solution to the unit with a soft sponge or cloth before rinsing thoroughly, making sure to sluice away any remaining soap residue.

Did You Know?

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Source: https://www.safety-eyewash.co.uk/content/eyewash-maintenance-guide


Did You Know You Need To Test Your Eye Wash Station Weekly To Meet OSHA/ANSI Standards?

Compliance is an all-day, every-day requirement.

Emergency showers and eyewashes are required by the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 standard to be activated weekly, with a more thorough evaluation on an annual basis. With OSHA fine increases of 80 percent having taken effect in August 2016, violations for inappropriate or inadequate eyewash and shower equipment have resulted in penalties of more than $100,000.

The standard guides the placement, functionality, and maintenance requirements for emergency showers and eyewashes. ANSI/ISEA Z358.1, in its current form, is the clearest and most useful tool for protecting workers from eye, face, and bodily injuries resulting from caustic and corrosive materials introduced by workplace incidents such as spills, splashes, and blown particulates.

The standard requires stringent testing to be conducted on a regular basis to ensure properly functioning equipment is being provided at all times if an incident were to occur. We should all understand that compliance is not a once-a-year or once-a-month responsibility. Compliance is an all-day, every-day requirement. Accordingly, emergency showers and eyewashes are required by the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 standard to be activated weekly, with a more thorough evaluation on an annual basis. This requirement is established in Sections including 4.6.2, 4.6.5.

In practice, emergency response equipment such as eyewashes and showers sometimes fall to the wayside when it comes to maintenance, especially when prioritized against emergency preparedness equipment such as eye protection and fall protection. You should know that OSHA does not prioritize or take a backseat when it comes to providing adequate and properly functioning equipment, regardless whether the equipment aids pre- or post-incident.

ANSI Weekly Minimum Performance Requirements
The standard itself has three minimum requirements for weekly inspections:

  1. Emergency equipment shall be activated weekly. (Each piece of equipment is required to be activated.)
  2. Activation shall ensure flow of water to the head(s) of the device. (This would be both the eyewash or eye/face wash head, as well as the showerhead.)
  3. Duration of the activation shall be sufficient to ensure all stagnant water is flushed from the unit itself and all sections of piping that do not form part of a constant circulation system, also known as “dead leg” portions. (The duration is determined by the length of piping where stagnant water could be sitting before it reaches the head(s) of the unit.)

In addition to the above weekly minimum performance checklist required by ANSI/ISEA, it is recommended as a best practice to conduct additional weekly functional checks. The purpose of these additional checks is to fully ensure the equipment is operating correctly and is capable of providing proper first aid in the event of an emergency.

ACCESS

  • Path of travel to the safety station shall be free of obstructions. (This could include hoses, boxes, and doors.) (Sections 4.5.2, 5.4.2, 6.4.2, 7.4.2)

SHOWER

  • Shower must deliver a minimum of 20 gallons (75.7 L) per minute. (Sec. 4.1.2, 4.1.4, 7.1)
  • The valve shall go from “off” to “on” in one second or less and flushing fluid shall remain on without the use of operator’s hands. (Sec. 4.2, 7.1)

EYEWASH/EYE/FACE WASH

  • Outlets shall be protected from airborne contaminants. (Dust covers must be in place.) (Sec. 5.1.3, 6.1.3, 7.1)
  • The valve shall go from “off” to “on” in one second or less and flushing fluid shall remain on without the use of operator’s hands. (Sec. 5.2, 6.2, 7.2)
  • The flushing fluid of an eyewash or eye/face wash shall cover the areas between the interior and exterior lines of a gauge at some point less than 8 inches (20.3 cm) above the eyewash nozzle. (sec 5.1.8, 6.1.8,7.1)
  • Must provide a means of a controlled flow to both eyes simultaneously at a velocity low enough to be non-injurious. (Sec. 5.1.1, 6.1.1, 7.1)

COMBINATION UNIT

  • Combination unit components shall be capable of operating simultaneously. (When the eyewash or eye/face wash is activated, and then the shower is activated, there should be no “starvation” occurring to either of the heads.) (Sec. 7.3, 7.4.4)

TEMPERATURE

  • Deliver tepid flushing fluid. (The required temperature range is 60°F – 100°F [16°C – 38°C])(Sec. 4.5.6, 5.4.6, 6.4.6, 7.4.5)

Plumbed Shower and Eyewash Equipment
As a general statement, all equipment needs to be inspected weekly to ensure that there is a flushing fluid supply and that the equipment is in good repair. If the equipment is of a plumbed design, then it should also be activated weekly to clear the supply line of any sediment buildup and to minimize any microbial contamination due to stagnant water.

Self-Contained Eyewash and Shower Equipment
Self-contained, also often referred to as “portable,” emergency response equipment is typically used in locations where there is either no access to water or at highly mobile sites where hazards are mobile. The ANSI/ISEA requirement for this type of equipment is to be visually inspected weekly to determine whether the flushing fluid needs to be exchanged or supplemented (Sections 4.6.3 and others). The units should be maintained as per the manufacturer’s specific model instructions.

A majority of self-contained units that use potable water also offer a sterile bacteriostatic additive option to prevent the water from growing bacteria. An exchange of the water and refill of the additive is required every three months for most additive products, as well as rinsing the unit clean between the exchanges. If an additive is not being used, then the water should be exchanged on a weekly basis, at a minimum, with a thorough tank cleaning monthly. On an annual basis, self-contained units are required to undergo the full test just as plumbed units do.

The question is often asked whether a company must hire a certified tester to conduct the weekly and annual inspections. Fortunately, there are no prerequisite or certification requirements to be able to test the equipment, although having a complete understanding of the installation and performance requirements will aid in ensuring conformance. There are various training tools, including Online Competent Inspector Training, offered by equipment manufacturers and others for individuals to become subject-matter experts. This allows company personnel to get familiar with what to look for and how to conduct the tests appropriately. Many companies today opt to have an outside third-party inspection performed for them annually, which provides an added measure of credibility and assurance to the review process.

 

Facilities that contain hundreds of shower and eyewash units should strive to create as many subject-matter experts as possible. Once trained, the weekly checks can be completed rather quickly. Creating facility maps, having full testing kits available, and holding recurring training classes can assist in the tedious yet crucial weekly task.

Worker protection should be a priority in every safety plan. Simply providing emergency showers and eyewashes is not enough. It is necessary to inspect, test, and monitor equipment readiness and performance for the optimal response.

 

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Source: https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2018/09/01/Testing-Your-Emergency-Equipment-to-Meet-ANSI-Z3581.aspx?admgarea=ht.ShowersEyewash&Page=3


Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment

 

For companies maintaining or considering emergency shower and eyewash stations, there are two key standards to remember.

The ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment is an essential resource—visit ISEA’s www.safetyequipment.org website to order it. This important consensus standard outlines the minimum equipment performance criteria for this equipment. It specifies flow rates, water temperature delivery, testing, and much more.

Z358.1 is the leading international standard for implementation of eyewash and shower equipment. On the standard’s page on its website, ISEA points out what a wide range of industries need to install and maintain this emergency equipment, listing “manufacturing and processing facilities, construction sites, laboratories, medical and healthcare offices, refineries and other workplaces.”

The other key standard is OSHA’s first aid standard, the one that explains the requirement for certain facilities in those and other industries to install shower or eyewash equipment. OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.151(c) says, “Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.”

End users frequently ask what constitutes “immediate use.” Fortunately, ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 answers this question: It specifies that showers and eyewashes should be located within 10 seconds’ travel distance from a hazard. As Speakman Company’s Imants Stiebris explained in an article in the July 2018 issue of this magazine, “While in existing facilities it is fairly easy to measure 10 seconds with a stopwatch, engineers and architects who are designing facilities do not have this luxury; all that they have to work with are blueprints. To help these design professionals, the Z358.1 standard suggests that 55 feet is a distance that most persons can travel in 10 seconds or less. The victim’s physical condition and potential obstacles must still be taken into consideration.”

Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment

The shower and eyewash units should be on the same level as the hazard requiring their use, in order to eliminate trips and the need for the affected worker to climb up or down. The units should be installed in a well-lit area and identified with a sign; if shut-off valves are installed in the supply line for maintenance purposes, the employer should prevent unauthorized shut off of the water supply.

The Z358.1-2014 standard also directs that the water temperature delivered to this equipment be “tepid,” which is defined as being between 60 degrees and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so that the affected worker will be able to withstand the continuous flow for 15 minutes without the risk of scalding or hypothermia.

 

Employee Training and Equipment Testing
Shower and eyewash companies say there are six interrelated areas for managers of employers’ eyewash and shower programs to get right: performance, use, installation, testing, maintenance, and training.

Employees must be trained to hold their eyes open during the flushing process. All employees also should be trained on how to use the emergency equipment fixtures before they handle hazardous chemicals.

Showers should deliver at least 20 gallons per minute for a minimum of 15 minutes; for eyewashes, the required minimum is 0.4 gallons per minute. The equipment must activate in 1 second or less and then continue to operate hands-free.

Experts recommend designating one person as responsible for inspecting, operating, and documenting findings weekly for the shower, eyewash, and combination units and drench hoses, but for large facilities with multiple units, they recommend having a contractor or vendor do these tasks, in order to eliminate inconsistent checks because of vacations, sick days, etc.

Contractors should be familiar with the ANSI standard and be able to give a detailed report on any problems. The weekly check ensures flushing fluid is available at the correct temperature, pattern, and flow and also clears the supply line of sediments and minimizes the risk of microbial contamination caused by still, sitting water. During activation of plumbed showers, the equipment is to be checked for any visible damage, leaks, rust, and obstructed flow; the inspector is to ensure that spray nozzles are protected from contaminates and that protective caps and covers deploy easily, and the equipment continues to run until it is turned off.

Self-contained (gravity-fed) showers must be visually checked weekly to determine whether the flushing fluid needs to be changed or replenished, and they must be maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions. All emergency showers must be inspected annually to make sure they meet the ANSI Z358.1-2014 performance requirements.

References
1. https://safetyequipment.org/product/ansiisea-z358-1-2014/
2. https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.151

 

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The 10 second race – A simple explanation for eye wash station compliance

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that each day about 2,000 U.S. workers have a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. Chemical burns to one or both eyes are common.

Many of these injuries can result in blindness. Proper safety equipment, such as eye protection and eyewash stations can save a worker’s eyesight.

OSHA on Compliance

The General Requirements in section 29 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 1910.151 states “…where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.”

American National Standards Institute

(ANSI) Standard Z358.1-2014 sets universal minimum performance and use requirements for all eyewash stations and drench shower equipment.

ANSI standard Z358.1-2014 says an eyewash station must:

  • Be accessible within a 10-second walk from the hazard
  • Be accessible without the need to walk up or down stairs, ladders, or cross any obstacles or roadways etc.
  • Deliver a 15-minute continuous flow of tepid fluid at 0.4 gallons per minute and be 60-100°F
  • Be located in areas where caustic or hazardous substances are present
  • Activate in one second or less and with one single motion
  • Be unobstructed
  • Be highly visible and identified with a sign

Where to place your emergency eyewash station

According to ANSI standards, the following areas must meet emergency eyewash compliance guidelines:

  • Painting and solvent operations
  • Battery charging stations
  • Tool parts washers
  • Laboratories
  • Hazardous chemical storage
  • Chemical pumping and/or mixing areas
  • Anywhere you use a chemical that has SDS eyewash requirements

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Are Your Employee’s Wearing The Right Safety Glasses?

Over 2000 eye injuries occur everyday at work in the U.S.

(As reported by Niosh)

 

Construction workers have one of the highest eye injury rates.

Most common are particles of dust, metal, wood, slag, drywall, cement etc. are the most common source of eye injury to carpenters.

Even “minor” eye injuries can cause life-long vision problems and suffering–a simple scratch from sawdust, cement, or drywall can cause corneal erosion that is painful.

Hammering on metal which gives off metal slivers and the rebounding of the ordinary nail are two of the most common causes of vision loss in construction workers.

Potential Eye Hazard Examples

  • Hammering, grinding, sanding, and masonry work that may produce particles
  • Handling chemicals may lead to splashes in the eye
  • Wet or powdered cement in the eye can cause a chemical burn.
  • Welding leads to exposure to arcs and flashes (intense UV radiation) for welders, helpers, and bystanders
  • Dusty or windy conditions can lead to particles in the eye
  • Eye injuries can result from simply passing through an area where work is being performed
  • Coworkers around or above you may generate the hazard

Find the Z87 marking on your safety glasses.

 

Safety eye and face protection includes non-prescription and prescription safety glasses, clear or tinted goggles, faceshields, welding helmets, and some full-face type respirators that meet the ANSI Z87.1 Eye and Face Protection Standard

The safety eyewear must have “Z87” or “Z87+” marked on the frame and in some cases the lens

Goggles are stronger than safety glasses

Goggles are used for higher impact protection, greater particle protection, chemical splashes, and welding light protection

Goggles for splash or high dust protection should have indirect venting

Goggles with direct venting (a mesh of small holes around the sides) tend to fog less, but should not be used with liquid or fine dust hazards

Common tasks: sawing, chipping, grinding, masonry work, using a nail gun, pouring cement, and working with chemicals

When goggles are used for welding make sure they are the proper shade # (the shade number is marked on the lens and shows how dark the lens is)

When should you use a face shield?

Faceshields are used for even higher impact protection and to protect the wearer’s face in addition to the eyes

Faceshields should always be used over safety glasses or goggles

Particles or chemicals can easily go around a faceshield and the curve of the faceshield can direct them into the eye

Faceshields are frequently lifted leaving the eyes unprotected without the safety glasses or goggles

Common tasks: spraying, chipping, grinding

If safety glasses look, cool people are more likely to wear them.

Safety glasses have hard or soft nose pieces, padded temples, and a variety of other features that improve comfort without adding great cost

Safety glasses come in many styles from the Buddy Holly heavy frames, to the old visitor specs, frameless lens, frames with football logos, aviator metal frames, and the most stylish wraparound glasses

Tinted safety glasses are now common that rival the most expensive commercial sunglasses but cost much less and are safer

What are the lenses made of in your safety glasses?

Most non-prescription (plano) safety glasses have polycarbonate lenses

The non-prescription safety glasses are tested by shooting a 1/4″ BB at 100mph at the lens and dropping a 1 lb pointed weight from 4′ on the lens–if it breaks in either test it won’t have the Z87 mark

Prescription safety glasses may have polycarbonate, glass, or a plastic called CR39 but these glasses only have to pass a test of dropping a 2oz steel ball from 4′ unless they are marked Z87+; then they must pass the high velocity/impact tests

Polycarbonate lenses are much more impact resistant than glass or plastic lenses. Glass and plastic lenses usually shatter into small sharp pieces, but polycarbonate usually just cracks

Are your safety glasses scratched?

Polycarbonate lenses scratch easier than other lenses, but new anti-scratch coatings help if the glasses are cared for properly

Wear an eyewear retainer strap that will let the glasses hang around your neck when not in use instead of laying them down on the job

Store them in an old sock before they are tossed into a tool chest or the seat of a car or pickup

Use a glasses cleaning station or wash and wipe with a soft clean cloth (old T-shirts work fine, but the sweaty shirt that you’re wearing may have as much drywall dust as your safety glasses, creating a muddy mess on the lenses by day’s end)

When do you take your safety glasses off?

When finished with a tool or specific task–but what’s going on around you?

At your break–but are there still hazards around you from other workers?

At the end of the day, but while still on the job site–a carpenter took his glasses and tool belt off and left them on the roof at the end of the day; while climbing down the ladder he lost an eye from a coworker dropping pliers on him from above

As you leave the site and are out of the hazard zone

What do you do to stop your safety glasses from fogging?

Buy safety glasses that have anti-fog coatings put on during manufacturing

Use anti-fog solutions on the lenses regularly, if needed

Wear a sweat band on your forehead or a cool rag in your hard hat

Keep the lenses clean and unscratched.

 

 

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