Consensus Standards and References:

  1. American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Z358.1-2004
  2. A Guide to Eyewash and Safety Shower Facilities, NCOSHA
  3. National Fire Protection Association
  4. Health Care Facilities, Handbook 99, Chapter 10-6, Emergency Shower
This Guide presents the minimum performance requirements for eyewash and shower equipment or the emergency treatment of the eyes or body of a person exposed to injurious materials. It covers the following types of equipment: emergency showers, eyewash equipment, and combination shower and eyewash or eye/face wash.

Plumbed eyewash shall be provided for all work areas where, during normal operations or foreseeable emergencies, the eyes of an employee may come into contact with a substance, which can cause corrosion, severe irritation, or is toxic by skin absorption. Drench hoses, sink faucets, or showers are not acceptable eyewash facilities. Plumbed eyewash shall be provided at all work areas where formaldehyde solutions in concentrations greater than or equal to 0.1% are handled.

NFPA 99 Chapter 10-6

An eyewash safety station should be installed within all acid washing areas. An eyewash safety station should be installed in N2 dispensing stations and film processing areas using chemical developers and fixers.

An emergency shower shall be provided for all work areas where, during normal operations or foreseeable emergencies, areas of the body may come into contact with a substance which is corrosive, severely irritating to the skin or is toxic by skin absorption.

A deluge shower shall be provided at all work areas where formaldehyde solutions in concentrations greater than or equal to 1% are handled.

NFPA 99 Chapter 10-6

A deluge shower should be installed within all acid washing areas. A deluge shower should be installed in N2 dispensing stations and film processing areas using chemical developers and fixers.

Where to Install

Emergency eyewash facilities and deluge showers shall be in unobstructed and accessible locations that require no more than 10 seconds for the injured person to reach along an unobstructed pathway (i.e., no doors without panic bars or which don’t swing open when pushed). If both eyewash and shower are needed, they shall be located so that both can be used at the same time by one person.

ANSI Z358.1, 4.6.1 and 5.4.4
NFPA 99, Chapter 10-6

American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Emergency Eyewash/Showers: Install an emergency eyewash/shower so that a disabled person can access it within 10 seconds of an ADA fume hood (minimally one ADA hood per laboratory floor). These emergency eyewash/showers must provide appropriate accessibility (e.g., activation of controls and height of eyecups) to individuals in wheelchairs.

The location of at least one ADA hood per floor will enable disabled individuals to conduct their research without having to transport chemicals, etc. in elevators. Fume hoods are assumed to contain substances which are “corrosive or severely irritating to the skin or are toxic by skin absorption,” hence the need for emergency eyewash/shower stations.

Signage

Emergency eyewash and shower locations shall be identified with a highly visible sign. The areas around the eyewash or shower shall be well lighted and highly visible.

ANSI Z358.1, 4.6
ANSI Z358.1, 5.4.5

Prohibitions around Equipment

No obstructions, protrusions, or sharp objects shall be located within 16 inches from the center of the spray pattern of the emergency shower facility.

ANSI Z358.1, 4.6.5

Electrical apparatus, telephones, thermostats, or power outlets should not be located within 18 inches of either side of the emergency shower or emergency eyewash facility (i.e., a 36-inch clearance zone).

Prevent potential electrical hazards posed when the water generated by the activated emergency eyewash/safety shower is in proximity to live electrical equipment.

Flushing Rates

A means shall be provided to ensure that a controlled flow of flushing fluid is provided to both eyes simultaneously.

ANSI Z358.1, 5.1.1

Eyewash equipment shall be capable of delivering to the eyes not less than 0.4 gallons per minute of flushing fluid for 15 minutes.

The eyewash unit shall be positioned with the water nozzles 33-45 inches from the floor and 6 inches minimum from the wall or nearest obstruction. The unit must be located at an operable sink.

ANSI Z358.1, 5.4.1

The valve shall be designed so that the flushing fluid remains on without requiring the use of the operator’s hands. The valve shall be designed to remain activated until intentionally shut off.

ANSI Z358.1, 5.2 (a)
ANSI Z358.1, 5.1.5

Nozzles shall be protected from airborne contaminants. The removal of the nozzle protection shall not require a separate motion by the operator when activating the unit.

ANSI Z358.1, 5.1.3

Deluge Shower Positioning

The emergency shower location must have a level surface beneath the shower head.

Having a level surface will prevent the users from tripping while trying to access and use the emergency shower.

Emergency shower heads shall be designed so that a flushing fluid column is provided that is not less than 82 inches and not more than 96 inches in height from the surface on which the user stands.

ANSI Z358.1, 4.1

The shower head should not be mounted flush or recessed within any constructed surfaces or partitions and the center of the spray pattern shall be located at least 16 inches from any obstruction.

ANSI Z358.1, 4.1

Recessing the shower head may limit access and/ or affect spray pattern. The spray pattern shall have a minimum diameter of 20 inches at 60 inches above the surface on which the user stands.

ANSI Z358.1, 4.1

Flushing Rates

Emergency shower heads shall be capable of delivering a minimum of 75.7 liters per minute (20 GPM) of flushing fluid.

ANSI Z358.1, 4.1

The shower should be attached to a flushing fluid supply from a 1-inch minimum iron pipe size (IPS).

Good Practice (based on ANSI manufacturer’s test procedures)

The valve shall be designed so that the flushing fluid remains on without requiring the use of the operator’s hands. The valve shall be designed to remain activated until intentionally shut off.

ANSI Z358.1, 4.2

The manual actuator, triangle pull, shall be located not more than 69 inches above the surface on which the user stands. The manual actuator shall be free from obstruction for 18 to 24 inches in all directions. The actuator shall not be mounted flush or recessed within any constructed surfaces or partitions.

ANSI Z358.1, 4.3

The water supply to showers and/or shower/eyewash combination units should be controlled by a shutoff valve which is visible and accessible to shower testing personnel in the event of leaking or failed shower head valves.

When floor drains are used, a means shall be provided to control odors from dry traps. If floor drains are not provided, controls shall be provided to prevent or minimize flooding.

Proper operation of the equipment must be demonstrated by the contractor installing the emergency eyewash or shower equipment prior to project closeout and facility occupation. By testing the equipment, UNC can be assured that it is working properly before the users begin their research.
All emergency showers and eyewash facilities shall meet the requirements of NFPA 99 Chapter 10, and ANSI Z358.1 and shall be installed in accordance with ANSI Z358.1.

NFPA 99, Chapter 10
ANSI Z358.1