Emergency Eyewashes & Showers: Q&A with ANSI Expert

Answers provided by Justin Dunn, Haws Product Specialist / Trainer

How often do I have to test my showers and eyewashes?

Testing is required on both a weekly and annual basis. Weekly test consists of a quick on/off “bump” test to ensure water flow to the equipment and clear out the dead leg in the supply line. An annual test is a full 15-minute performance test measuring the entire unit against the ANSI Z358.1 standard.

How can I fix flow issues without having to replace the full shower and eyewash unit?

This is easily done using our AXION Advantage retrofit kits that can fix the most common issues with emergency equipment including simultaneous flow, uneven flow rates, and injurious flow rates. Our kits can retrofit old Haws models as well as 80% of our competitor’s units helping to bring them back into compliance.

What is the OSHA Standard for showers and eyewashes and do they use ANSI?

The OSHA standard is 29 CFR 1910.151 (c) and states “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”. OSHA references the ANSI Z358.1 standard as the primary source for compliance and will often issue fines using the standard.

How do I know what to check on the weekly and annual test?

You can do this by one of three methods: (1) Use the complimentary Haws ANSI checklist created specifically for weekly and annual testing compliance using the Z358.1 standard, found HERE, (2) watching a step by step video on how to test, found HERE, or (3) taking our 25 minute online competent inspector training course that will certify you for 2 years to conduct the weekly and annual inspections accurately. Only $49.99, found HERE.

Is there a company that will come and test all my units for compliance?

Haws offers a FREE 1-day shower and eyewash site survey for sites that qualify. A trained and experienced representative will visit your site and measure your equipment against the ANSI Z358.1 standard for any non-compliance issues and even provide solutions to help bring you back into compliance. You can find out if you qualify HERE.

Contact Justin Dunn:
[email protected]

Antsy about ANSI? 5 Common FAQ’s

Questions answered by ANSI subject matter expert and Director of Haws Integrated Operations, Casey Hayes.

Is testing of the safety showers and eyewashes actually required in the standard and not just the appendix?
Yes, it is part of the standard. It is not in the appendix. We talk about the weekly flush and the requirements to get the debris out and to ensure that water is available. And, we also discuss in the standard the requirements for the full ANSI annual test. The annual test ensures things like making sure we have 20 gallons per minute to the showerhead and that the spray pattern of the shower meets the requirements. Same for the eyewash. It is also when you will test to make sure it is 10 seconds from the hazard and nothing is obstructing the pathway of victim reaching the unit.

2. Does the accessible 10 second rule apply to a fast pace walk or run?
In previous revisions, there was a distance in the requirement. At one point, we had 10 seconds and 100 feet. At another point, we had 10 seconds and 55 feet. We have taken out the distance requirement so that we don’t have to determine whether it is a walk or a run. We are putting that back onto the installation aspect for you to determine what 10 seconds looks like. In the appendix, it does talk about 55 feet which is probably the right distance, but the standard does not get into the details.

3. Does EPA prohibit floor drains in college chemistry labs?
I have never been asked about this as far as EPA. I do know that the ANSI Z358.1 standard is strictly a performance standard and does not talk about floor drains because they are concerned about the performance of the shower. So, floor drains have nothing to do with that. If you look at plumbing codes, it specifically says that floor drains are not required. We believe that is due to the fact that they don’t want water that has chemicals in it to go to the sewer drain. I have never seen anything related to EPA.

4. Can you please reference the OSHA standard that requires testing once a week?
CAL OSHA says they only enforce once per month. OSHA specifically does not talk about anything in regards to the performance of the safety shower. It specifically says it must supply a suitable facility. It does not get into specifics as to what a suitable facility is. OSHA is starting to reference the ANSI standard as a guideline as to what a suitable facility is but nowhere in OSHA do they talk about the testing of the equipment. If you are building to the plumbing code, specifically references that the shower must meet ANSI and therefore the requirement for weekly/annual testing comes into play.

5. Are written records of testing required on-site?
This is outside the ANSI standard. This is what I would call a best practice. We are seeing that the testing validation is not on the tag on the shower but not being placed with the health and safety time. Testing has been enhanced so people are collecting and filing it away.

Learn more about ANSI by registering for our upcoming live web seminar on ANSI Z358.1-2014 Compliance.

Case Study: Ethanol Production Facility Upgrades to Meet Compliance

case studyWorkplace safety has been a focus from the very start at East Kansas Agri-Energy (EKAE). With awards from both Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) and Kansas Department of Labor for exemplary safety systems and safety records, EKAE truly sets the standard for safety.

After coming across an advertisement for AXION Advantage® upgrade kits in the EHS Today Magazine, Safety staff followed up with online pricing research of the facility’s existing safety equipment brands.

To read the full case study, click here! 

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