Emergency Eye Wash Devices

All employees who might be exposed to chemical splashes shall be instructed in the location and proper usage of emergency eye wash devices for immediate and thorough washing of the eyes. Because some chemicals, even in small amounts, can irritate or damage the eyes upon contact, affected areas should be flushed with water as soon as possible, for at least 15 minutes to be sure there is no residue of the corrosive liquid. After thorough washing, notify the department supervisor or area manager. Follow-up medical care needs to be provided as soon as possible, at Fast Med Urgent Care or Watauga County Medical Center Emergency Room. Departments need to complete appropriate Workers' Compensation forms and forward them to the Workers Compensation Claims Administrator.

Eyewash devices installed in campus locations must meet current ANSI 358.1 standards and deliver tepid water to users. Eyewash devices are required to be located in accessible locations on the same level as the hazard, within 10 seconds travel distance and not more than 75 feet of where toxic chemicals are used For strong acids or caustics, the unit should be located immediately adjacent to the hazard. A hand held drench hose or personal eyewash station can be installed in laboratory or shop areas as a supplement, not a substitute, for eyewash devices. Devices must be identified with a highly visible sign and the area well lighted. Eyewash nozzles need to be protected from airborne contaminants; reposition protective devices on nozzles when not in use. Devices must be routinely inspected and maintained in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. Devices must be activated (tested) weekly to verify proper operation. The Department of Energy recommends eyewash devices be flushed for at least 3 minutes each week to insure proper operation and to prevent formation of rust. Devices must also be inspected annually to assure compliance with ANSI Z358.1 maintenance and testing requirements. Inspections and tests shall be performed by department supervisors or area managers. Testing must be documented that includes the date tested and the initials of the person conducting the test.

Employees are strongly encouraged to report problems with eyewash devices located in their area to their supervisors as soon as possible. Defective or inoperable devices must be repaired as soon as possible. Contact the Environmental Health Safety & Emergency Management Office at Extension 4008 if you have questions concerning this notice.


Eye Wash Station sign