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Ensuring Safety – The Importance of Eyewash Stations in Facilities

As a responsible facility manager, it is crucial to prioritize the safety of your employees and visitors. One area that often gets overlooked is the importance of eyewash stations. These simple yet essential devices can be lifesaving in the event of an eye injury or chemical splash. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the guidelines for placing eyewash stations, their importance in healthcare facilities, and best practices for maintenance. By understanding these key aspects, you can ensure a safe environment for everyone within your facility.

Guidelines for Placing Eyewash Stations

When it comes to the placement of eyewash stations, several guidelines should be followed to ensure their effectiveness and accessibility. First and foremost, eyewash stations should be located within 10 seconds or approximately 55 feet of any potential hazard. This proximity allows for immediate access and minimizes the risk of eye damage. Additionally, eyewash stations should have a clear and unobstructed path, free from doors or other barriers that could impede someone’s ability to reach them quickly.

The Importance of Eyewash Stations in Healthcare Facilities

In healthcare facilities, the importance of eyewash stations cannot be overstated. Healthcare workers are often exposed to various hazardous substances, including chemicals, bodily fluids, and infectious materials. During emergencies, immediate access to eyewash stations can prevent serious eye damage and potential infection. Furthermore, eyewash stations play a vital role in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, which mandate the provision of emergency eyewash facilities in healthcare settings.

Best Practices for Maintenance

Ensuring the proper maintenance of eyewash stations is crucial to guarantee their functionality and effectiveness in case of an emergency. Regular inspection should be conducted to check the cleanliness, accessibility, and functionality of the eyewash stations. This includes ensuring that the eyewash unit is free from debris, the water supply is clean and delivers a tepid flow, and the station is properly marked with clear signage. Additionally, it is essential to develop a maintenance schedule and document all inspections and repairs to remain compliant with regulations.

Choosing the Right Eyewash Stations

When selecting eyewash stations for your facility, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, you need to determine whether you require a plumbed or a self-contained unit. Plumbed units are directly connected to a clean water source and are suitable for locations with a continuous water supply. On the other hand, self-contained units are portable and do not require a water source, making them ideal for areas without access to plumbing. Additionally, you should consider the type of eyewash solution (saline or potable water), the activation method (push handle or foot pedal), and compliance with relevant safety standards such as ANSI Z358.1.

Training Employees on Eyewash Station Usage

Having well-placed eyewash stations is only part of the equation; proper employee training is equally critical. All employees should receive comprehensive training on the location of eyewash stations, how to operate them correctly, and the importance of prompt eye irrigation. Regular drills and simulations should be conducted to ensure employees can respond swiftly and confidently during an emergency. Moreover, training should cover procedures for reporting incidents, seeking medical attention, and understanding the potential hazards within the facility.


By adhering to the guidelines for placement, recognizing the importance of eyewash stations in healthcare facilities, following best practices for maintenance, choosing the right eyewash stations, and providing comprehensive training to employees, you can create a safer environment within your facility. Remember, the well-being of your employees is invaluable, and investing in proper eye safety measures is a small price to pay for their health and protection.