Standards For Safety Showers and Eyewashes

The following specifications are taken directly from the ANSI Z358.1-1998 standard.

SHOWERS

TYPES
  • Plumbed Shower: An emergency shower permanently connected to a source of potable water.
  • Self-Contained Shower: A shower that contains its own flushing fluid, and must be refilled or replaced after use.
Specifications for plumbed showers (only).
1. Heads
  1. Positioned no less than 82" from floor.
  2. Spray pattern will have a minimum diameter of 20" at 60" above the floor.
  3. Flow Rate=20 gallons per minute (GPM) at a velocity low enough to be non-injurious to the user.
  4. Center of spray pattern shall be located at least 16" from any obstruction.
2. Valves
  1. Off to "On" in 1 second or less.
  2. Stay-open valve (no use of hands).
  3. Valve remains on until the user shuts it off.
3. Installation
  1. 10 seconds from the hazard. Must be on same level as the hazard and the path of travel shall be free of obstructions that inhibit the immediate use of the equipment.
  2. Shower location shall be in a well-lit area and identified with a sign.
4. Maintenance and Training
  1. Showers will be tested weekly to verify correct operation.
  2. All employees who might be exposed to a chemical splash shall be trained in the use of the equipment.

EYE WASHES

TYPES

  • Plumbed Eye Wash: An eye wash unit permanently connected to a source of potable water.
  • Gravity-Feed Eye Wash: An eye wash device that contains its own flushing fluid and must be refilled or replaced after use.

Specifications:
1. Heads

  1. Must be protected from airborne contaminants.
  2. Positioned 6" from wall or nearest obstruction.
  3. 0.4 gallons per minute (GPM) for 15 minutes for plumbed units.
  4. 0.4 gallons per minute (GPM) for 15 minutes for gravity-feed units.

2. Valves

  1. Activate in 1 second or less.
  2. Stay-open valve (leaving hands free).

3. Installation

  1. 10 seconds from the hazard. Must be on same level as the hazard and the path of travel shall be free of obstructions that inhibit the immediate use of the equipment.
  2. The location of the eye wash unit shall be in a well-lit area and identified with a sign.

4. Maintenance and Training

  1. Plumbed eye wash units shall be activated weekly to verify proper operation.
  2. Gravity-feed units shall be maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  3. All employees who might be exposed to a chemical splash shall be trained in the use of the equipment

EYE/FACE WASH: A device used to irrigate and flush both the face and the eyes.

1. Heads

  1. Positioned 33"--45" from floor.
  2. 6" from wall or nearest obstruction.
  3. Large heads to cover both eyes and face or regular size eye wash heads plus a face spray ring.
  4. 3 gallons per minute (GPM) for 15 minutes.

2. Valve

  1. Same as eye wash.

3. Installation

  1. Same as eye wash.

4. Maintenance and Training

  1. Same as eye wash

DRENCH HOSES

Hand-Held Drench Hose: A flexible hose connected to a water supply and used to irrigate and flush eyes, face and body areas.

1. Heads

  1. 3 gallons per minute (GPM) for 15 minutes.

2. Valve

  1. Activate in 1 second or less.

3. Installation

  1. Assemble per the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. The location of the drench hose shall be in a well-lit area and identified with a sign.

4. Maintenance and Training

  1. Activate weekly to verify proper operation.
  2. All employees who might be exposed to a chemical splash shall be trained in the use of the equipment. Note: Hand-held drench hoses support shower and eyewash units but shall not replace them.

Contact Information 
 Environmental Health& Safety: MSC-3578, P.O. Box 30001, Academic Research Bldg. C, Rm. 109
    Street delivery address: NMSU, 1620 Standley Dr., Academic Research Bldg. C, Las Cruces, NM 88003
    Training Office: Academic Research Unit C, rm110 (see map ), 
    Telephone: 575-646-3327; FAX: 575-646-7898. Website - http://www.nmsu.edu/safety
    Send email to David Shearer, EH&S (click here) with questions or comments about this web site.