The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29CFR 1910.151 requires that suitable means for flushing and quick drenching of the eyes and body must be provided in any area where corrosive materials are used.
Departments/offices that have areas where hazardous materials are used are responsible for ensuring that emergency eyewash stations and safety showers are installed and maintained before allowing work with hazardous materials to be performed.
In most cases, the initial first aid treatment for a hazardous materials exposure is to rinse the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes prior to seeking any other medical treatment. It is often critical that the eyes be flushed during the first few seconds following an exposure with contaminant free water if injury is to be minimized. That’s why it is important that eyewash stations and showers are kept in proper working order and inspected with a documented program.
In order to reduce exposure risks, proper personal protective equipment should always be worn when working with hazardous chemicals or engaged in hazardous activities. Emergency showers and eyewash stations are not a substitute for proper primary protective devices. Please refer to the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis policy on personal protective equipment for further guidance.
Applies to Office of Environmental Health & Safety, Office of Facilities Management, students, faculty, and staff, all offices with eyewash, drenching hoses, and shower equipment in laboratories.
Environmental Health & Safety
"Eyewash, Drenching Hose, and Shower Equipment Policy and Procedure" (2016). Environmental Health & Safety Policies. 9.