Emergency Eyewash and Drench Shower Program

The purpose of this program is to ensure that all safety eyewashes and showers supply clean, potable water and are in proper working order. Procedures for emergency use, selection, installation and placement, guidelines for activation, inspection, testing and maintenance of emergency eyewash and shower equipment which apply to all emergency eyewash and shower units in university buildings are described here.  Semi-annual flow rate testing will be conducted by EH&S personnel or others.  Weekly flushing of eye wash stations must be performed by the workplace personnel.

Video showing how to do weekly flushing of eyewashes

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation that applies to emergency eyewashes and safety showers is applicable to all facilities that require this equipment as a form of first aid.  This regulation, 29 CFR 1910.151 (c) (Medical Services and First Aid), states that: "Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use." Furthermore, it specifies where and when emergency eyewash and shower equipment must be available. These regulations do not specify minimum operating requirements, installation requirements, or maintenance requirements. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z358.1-1990 (Revised 2004), "Emergency Eye Wash and Shower Equipment," provides guidance on selection, installation, operation and maintenance of this equipment to meet OSHA requirements. The Emergency Eyewash and Shower Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMA) was developed to offer guidance on the proper installation, inspection and repair of eyewashes and drench showers.

Related Items

Emergency Eyewash Station Weekly Inspection Checklist

How to Flush The Eyewash Video

Eyewash and drench shower poster