The Who, What, & Where of Eyewash Stations


Many medical practices often wonder if they really need an eyewash station, what type of eyewash station they need, or often believe, we have an eyewash station at our practice, so we are automatically in compliance. 

You may already be in compliance with this requirement, but to be sure, follow the guidelines below.


Am I required to have one?

First off, any employer who employs individuals who performs procedures which may cause splashes or spills of hazardous chemicals to the eyes must have an eyewash station.  This includes any employer with X-ray equipment in use.


Practices which have any chemical listed as Corrosive, an eyewash station is mandatory!


What kind do I get?

OSHA requires that the eyewash station in place allow the affected individual to activate it with one motion, and have both hands free to hold both eyelids open while flushing with a continuous flow of clean water for at least 15 minutes.


Warning! These requirements mean that squeeze bottles labeled as eyewash stations do not equal compliance for OSHA standards, however most faucet adaptors do.


Where do I put it?

It is required that the affected individual be able to access the eyewash station within 10 seconds from the potential hazard.  This means if your office is large and there is more than one potential hazard located in the practice, you may need multiple eyewash stations in place.


Now what?

Now that you have the proper eyewash station in place, there is still ongoing work to be done.  The eyewash station must continuously be kept unobstructed and it must be tested for 3 minutes weekly.  The flushing should be documented, making sure to record the date, time, initials of the operator, and any corrective action to be taken.


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