Safety Equipment

Emergency eyewash and safety showers

Eyewash and shower location and maintenance

The emergency eyewash and shower shall be located on the same level as the hazard and the path of travel shall be free of obstructions that may inhibit the immediate use of the equipment. A door is considered an obstruction.

The emergency eyewash and shower should be available for immediate use, but in no instance should it take an individual longer than 10 seconds to reach the nearest emergency eyewash and shower.

The water flow valve shall remain open without the use of the operator’s hands until intentionally closed. The valve shall be simple to operate and shall go from “off” to “on” in one second or less.

All emergency eyewashes in the lab should be activated monthly to verify water flow. A record of monthly activation must be maintained in the lab or at the emergency eyewash. Use and post the monthly emergency eyewash activation form next to the emergency eyewash. 

Email EHS  if you are not comfortable activating the eyewash station or have questions about using and maintaining the emergency eyewash.

Guidelines for Emergency Eyewashes and Showers

All laboratories in which corrosive chemicals are used should have direct access to emergency eyewashes and showers, or have SOPs in place approved by the Principle Investigator that minimize the potential risks of an injury until an emergency eyewash and shower can be accessed. General guidelines are located within the ASU Capital Programs Management Group Design Guidelines. American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z358.1) and National Research Council Prudent Practices in the Laboratory provide information on emergency eyewash and shower installation and operation. Emergency eyewashes and showers must meet ANSI Z358.1 current requirements.

General information

  • Employees who may be exposed to hazardous materials shall be instructed in the location and proper use of emergency eyewashes and showers.

  • For a strong acid (pH<1) or caustic (pH >12) an emergency eyewash should be immediately adjacent to the hazard.

  • Where the hazard is not corrosive, one intervening door may be present if the door opens in the same direction of travel as the operator and the door is equipped with a closing mechanism that cannot be locked.

  • Personal emergency eyewashes (portable or squeeze bottle type emergency eyewashes) and drench hoses are supplemental to emergency eyewashes and showers.

Emergency eyewashes
  • The emergency eyewash shall be designed, manufactured and installed in such a manner that, once activated, it can be used without the use of the operator’s hands.

  • The emergency eyewash shall provide flushing fluid to both eyes simultaneously.

  • Emergency eyewash nozzles shall be protected from airborne contaminants. Whatever means is used to afford such protection, it shall not require a separate movement by the operator when activating the unit.

  • Plumbed and self-contained emergency eyewashes shall be capable of delivering flushing fluid at a minimum of 1.5 liters per minute (0.4 gpm) for a minimum of 15 minutes.

Emergency showers
  • Emergency showers should be checked routinely to ensure general accessibility and the water flow pull-down bar is within the operator's reach.
  • Plumbed and self-contained emergency showers shall be capable of delivering fluid at a minimum of 75.7 liters per minute (20 gpm) for a minimum of 15 minutes.