Emergency Equipment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What is the ANSI Z358.1-2004 Standard?
- How do I know if I need to install emergency equipment?
- How many eyewashes or drench showers do I need?
- How do I know if I need an eyewash station vs. a drench shower?
- Where does the emergency equipment need to be installed?
- Is tepid water required by ANSI Z358.1?
- Is potable water required by ANSI Z358.1?
- What is the required minimum flow rate?
- How frequently should the emergency equipment be tested?
- Why is it important to consider installing drains whenever possible?
- Can a drench hose be substituted for an eyewash or drench shower?
- Can several bottles of eyewash be substituted for an eyewash station?
- Who needs to be trained on the proper use of emergency equipment?
What is the ANSI Z358.1-2004 Standard?
The ANSI Z358.1-2004 Standard establishes minimum guidelines for safety equipment. It addresses testing procedures, installation instructions, recommended maintenance, and training. The standard is set forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Additionally, OSHA typically uses the ANSI standard as a guideline when auditing a facility.
How do I know if I need to install emergency equipment?
Review chemical material safety data sheets (MSDS) – these indicate the type of treatment recommended for each hazardous material. Other common locations where emergency equipment should be installed include: battery charging or welding stations, anywhere fine particulate or cleaning materials are present, and areas where one may be exposed to blood borne pathogens.
Check out our guide Do I Need an Eyewash or Drench Shower? for more information
How many eyewashes or drench showers do I need?
The number of eyewashes or showers needed for each hazard is based on the number of workers in that area and the probability that more than one will be exposed at the same time.
How do I know if I need an eyewash station vs. a drench shower?
If there’s a chance that more than someone’s eyes or face could be exposed to the hazard, a drench shower is needed.
Where does the emergency equipment need to be installed?
Emergency eyewashes and drench showers must be within a 10 second walking time on the same floor level as the hazard. However, when dealing with particularly dangerous hazards, emergency equipment should be installed immediately adjacent to the hazard. When planning an installation location, the path of travel must be considered as well. The path needs to be free of obstructions and as straight as possible.
Is tepid water required by ANSI Z358.1?
Yes. Tepid water has a temperature between 60ºF and 100ºF. You may need a Thermostatic Mixing Valve depending on your setup, learn more on our Thermostatic Mixing Valve Basics page
Is potable water required by ANSI Z358.1?
Yes. Emergency equipment requires a controlled flow of flushing fluid. Flushing fluid refers to potable water, preserved water, preserved buffered saline solution, or other medically acceptable solutions.
What is the required minimum flow rate?
For plumbed and self-contained eyewashes, the minimum flow is 0.4 gallons per minute (GPM). For plumbed eye/face washes, the minimum flow is 3.0 GPM. For combination showers and drench showers, the minimum flow is 20 GPM.
How frequently should the emergency equipment be tested?
Emergency equipment should be tested on a weekly basis. Each testing should run the equipment long enough to flush the line of sediment and debris. Inspection tags used to document regular inspections can be purchased. An annual inspection is required as well.
Why is it important to consider installing drains whenever possible?
Drains are important when dealing with drench showers. Drench showers feature a stay-open ball valve that allows the shower to flow at a minimum of 20 gallons of water per minute. When in use, a person must remain under the drench shower for 15 minutes – this equates to 300 gallons of water. Drains prevent water damage and minimize slip hazards from water that could potentially collect and spread.
Can a drench hose be substituted for an eyewash or drench shower?
Single head drench hoses do NOT meet all the criteria of an eyewash station. Dual head drench hoses DO meet all criteria of an eyewash station because they feature a stay-open ball valve that allows for hands-free operation.
A drench hose, single or dual head, can NOT be substituted for a drench shower. It is considered a supplemental device only because it cannot supply the 15 minute full body drench required.
Can several bottles of eyewash be substituted for an eyewash station?
No. Bottled eyewash is considered a supplemental resource and is intended for immediate first aid use before the 15 minute flush only.
Who needs to be trained on the proper use of emergency equipment?
All individuals who may be exposed to hazardous materials should be trained. Training topics should include operation, maintenance, and equipment location.