Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Weekly Testing of Plumbed Eyewash Safety Showers


OSHA Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.151(c) requires that suitable facilities for drenching or flushing of the eyes and body be provided near locations where any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials.

Many facilities install combination eyewash safety showers to meet this requirement. These are typically plumbed, or connected to a continuous source of domestic water.

Flushing exposed body parts within seconds immediately following an eye injury or chemical splash is critical to minimizing damage. Emergency eyewashes and showers often go unused for long periods of time. When a chemical exposure occurs, these devices must function properly. Regular testing and inspection of combination eyewash safety showers is very important.

Inspection Requirements

OSHA does not provide specific testing requirements for eyewash and safety showers. Instead, OSHA defers to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z358.1 standard for the requirements of all plumbed emergency eye, eye/face wash and emergency shower equipment.


Based on the ANSI Z358.1 standard, plumbed eyewash safety showers should be inspected weekly to ensure they are operable.

Inspection Instructions

At a minimum, the inspection should include verifying water flow to the eyewash nozzles and safety shower and that there is a clear, unobstructed path to the eyewash safety shower.

  1. Verify there is a clear path to the eyewash / safety shower.
  2. Ensure no materials are stored under unit.
  3. Verify water supply to safety shower. Flush water for 30 seconds.
  4. Verify water flow to eyewash. Flush water for 30 seconds.
  5. Ensure dust caps are on eyewash nozzles.
  6. Record inspection results.
  7. Initiate corrective action for deficiencies identified during inspection.

Required Tools and Supplies

Barcode scanner to record inspection results.
5 gallon bucket to catch flushed water.
Safety Shower Test Curtain
Spare eyewash dust caps

Labor Time Requirements

It typically takes less than 5 minutes to perform a weekly inspection of and eyewash safety shower. However, the following need to be considered when estimating labor time requirements for completing weekly tests:
  • Labor estimates should consider travel time to and from each eyewash.
  • Inspections in clean room environments require additional time for gowning.
  • Collection and disposal of flushed water must be considered.
  • Water flushed from an eyewash is easily caught in a 5 gallon bucket.
  • A test curtain may be needed to catch the water while testing a safety shower.
  • Water from your tests can create slip hazards. Allow time for cleaning up water.
Recording Inspection Results Using FieldDataPro

Managing the inspection of eyewash safety showers scattered around a large facility or campus can be challenging. FieldDataPro can help you use barcode technology to track when each unit is inspected and more importantly, identify units that are not inspected or have deficiencies that need to be corrected.

When collecting eyewash inspection data with FieldDataPro you can use either the Detailed method or the Pass/Fail method. Either method makes effective management of the inspections easy and eliminates paperwork and manual record keeping.

With the Detailed method, the inspector records the status of each inspection point for each unit as shown in the image below.

With the Pass/Fail method, the inspector creates a timestamped record indicating that the device was inspected, and whether it passed inspection or was found to have deficiencies.

For a more detailed description of how FieldDataPro can help you manage Safety Inspection data, see this blog post (How it all works).

Call us at (919) 323-3703 to set up a demonstration.

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  3. Hey thanks for sharing this information. Showers Safety is a big issue in Industrial.

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