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Obstruction means that the path from the hazard to the eyewash and/or shower isn’t clear. There should be nothing on the ground that could trip the victim or impair them from getting to the equipment. This could include boxes, hoses, stairs or even permanent obstructions.
The standard (appendix) now states that the step into the enclosure is not considered an obstruction. The bigger issue is sometimes the doors. Doors need to swing in the direction of the path of the victim. Many enclosed showers have doors similar to saloon doors where you can run through them to get into the enclosure and also run through them to get out. This mitigates the potential to have to see a handle or door nob which would be considered an obstruction especially if the victim may be blinded by the chemical spill or other accident.
If the equipment is in a hard to access location, you need to reevaluate its location to ensure there is nothing blocking the victim’s path.
For more information on the ANSI Z358.1 standard, visit our web page dedicated to the standard.