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OSHA doesn’t require that eyewash stations be located a certain distance from a hazard. But an industry standard does!

Check distances: Employees’ eyes can be damaged very quickly by many contaminants. The first fifteen seconds after the injury is the critical period. Because of this critical time period, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)standard suggests that eyewashes or showers be within 100 feet or a 10-second walk of the work area (ANSI Z358.1). Avoid placing machines and equipment in the pathway to an eyewash or safety shower.

Check water delivery: Know how much water your eyewash stations deliver. Eyewashes should supply 0.4 gallons per minute of flushing fluids for at least 15 minutes. Safety showers should supply 20 gallons per minute for at least 15 minutes. Note: Many portable eyewash stations have a capacity of 5 to 10 gallons for a maximum usefulness of 5 minutes. Squeeze bottles and other plastic containers have even lower water capacities. These eyewashes are meant to be supplementary to eyewash stations or showers that provide 15 minutes of flushing.

Check emergency telephone number: Where 911 is not available, ensure the telephone number of medical help is posted on site telephones.

Inspection and maintenance

Eyewashes and safety showers should be inspected according to manufacturer instructions. Squeeze bottles also require frequent testing, refilling, and maintenance since they lose water to evaporation, become contaminated, and are easily misplaced.