What Is the Purpose of An Emergency Eyewash Station?

Aug. 27, 2021

An emergency eyewash station is an otherwise simple piece of equipment that protects workers from chemical-related eye injuries. While there are many different types, varying in size, design, features and function, most emergency eyewash stations are equipped with a shower-like spray that, when pressed, sprays water into the worker's eyes; therefore, rinsing away any chemicals. Drainage pipes are usually installed directly below or near to prevent water and chemicals from accumulating on the floor.


If a worker's eyes come into contact with a chemical, he or she must immediately flush the chemical out, and that's where the emergency eyewash station comes into play: the worker will stand underneath the eyewash station while water is sprayed into his Or her eyes. As the water flows over the worker's eyes, it flushes away any hazardous chemicals or materials that remain on the surface.

 Emergency Eye Wash

 Emergency Eye Wash 

Providing workers with which tools to use through your eyewash station can not only help reduce lost workload, but more importantly, can play a role in saving the injured worker's vision. With so many different things you have to comply with and so many different options to choose from, some people can be a little overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the right emergency eyewash station for their facility.


Know your hazards

One of the first things to do when deciding to use an eye wash station is to answer the following question: What are the potential hazards that could affect your workers? In construction, the most common are foreign objects such as metal bars, wood chips or dust; however, others may be exposed to chemicals or infectious diseases due to working in laboratories or with patients/animals.The various features required for your facility will vary depending on the type of hazards you will encounter.

Bench Eye Wash

 Bench Eye Wash

Here are some simple ways to help evaluate what to look for and how to choose the best station for your needs.

ANSI has the following specific requirements for all eyewash stations.

Should be in an "accessible" location within 10 seconds of the hazard.

Should be located in a position where there are no obstacles to immediate use and at the same level as the hazard, with no steps or stairs in between.

Must be clearly visible, well lit and marked.

Should provide a continuous flow for 15 minutes.

Should be located in an area where corrosive or hazardous materials are present*.


Should have an on/off valve, pull strap or door that can be activated by a single action in one second or less.

They must be inspected annually to verify they meet ANSI Z358.1 requirements.

Emergency shower and/or eyewash stations are required for activities associated with: pulp, paper and paperboard manufacturing; formaldehyde processing; construction; anhydrous ammonia; power industry trucks; telecommunications; and hazardous materials.

*Note: Always check the relevant Material Safety Data Sheet to determine if the chemical or substance in your facility requires a 15-minute eye rinse.

Let us help you find the best eyewash stations for your project. When you contact us, please provide your detailed requirements. That will help us give you a valid quotation.

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