Guide to Eyewash Stations And Safety Shower Regulations

Sep. 15, 2021

ANSI regulations

Of all the guidance bodies available, the ANSI Z358.1 regulations are the most complete. The only problem is that they were originally designed for the US market.


We have produced detailed guides to the ANSI regulations, but in short they cover the way emergency equipment is manufactured, installed and used. They also publish guidance on testing, training and signposting.


European standards

The European Standard EN 15154 was created by the European Standards Project as a way of avoiding conflicts between different national standards within the EU. On the face of it, you may think that the European Standard is preferable to the ANSI Code as it was created for the European market; however, the downside is that it is currently incomplete.


EN 15154 will eventually consist of five parts; currently, only Parts 1 and 2 are complete, with Parts 3 and 4 in draft form. Part 1 and Part 2 cover ducted safety showers and ducted eyewash stations in laboratories respectively.

Portable Eyewash Station

Portable Eyewash Station

EN 15154 Part 1

Part 1 of the European Standard states that, once activated, a plumbed-in safety shower must discharge water at a rate of 60 litres per minute for at least 15 minutes Contain 95% of the water flow within a diameter of 40 cm. The water used must be potable and free from contaminants. The recommended minimum water temperature is 15°C.


The guide also states that the manufacturer of the safety shower should provide information on the correct way and frequency of installation, operation and maintenance as well as operational testing. The shower should also be marked with the manufacturer's logo.


EN 15154 Part 2

The second part of the standard covers safety eyewash units. According to the regulations, all eyewash units must discharge water at a rate of 6 litres per minute for at least 15 minutes with a spray height between 100 mm and 300 mm be activated by a valve in less than one second. The water quality and temperature as well as the manufacturer's information included are the same as in the first part of the regulation.

Bench Eye Wash

Bench Eye Wash

German DIN 12899-3:2009

Due to the incompleteness of EN 15154, some products follow the German DIN 12899-3 directive to fill the gap. This directive defines the parameters for piped and tank showers in manufacturing and warehouse environments, specifying three different categories and two different flow rates.


Class I: 30 - 60 litres per minute

Showers Category II: 60-100 litres per minute

Shower Class III: Showers exceeding 100 litres per minute


For piped safety showers, the fluid should be distributed 700 mm below the shower head.

A Class I safety shower must deliver 50% (+/-10%) of the fluid within a 20 cm radius of the head and more than 95% of the fluid within a 40 cm radius.

Level II safety showers must deliver 50% (give or take 10%) of the fluid within a 20 cm radius of the head and more than 95% of the fluid within a 40 cm radius

Level 3 safety showers must deliver 50% (give or take 10%) of the fluid within a 20 cm radius of their head and more than 70% of the fluid within a 40 cm radius.


For tank showers, the fluid distribution rate must be the same as for Level 3 safety showers, irrespective of the flow rate.


The water must meet local drinking standards and the DIN guidelines refer to EN 15154.1 recommendations for water temperature, which is recommended to be kept between 15C and 37C


DIN 12899-3 still makes explicit reference to EN 15154 part 2 in relation to eye wash stations and face washes.

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