Paragraph (c) of OSHA’s Occupational Safety & Health Standards – 29 CFR 1910.151 (Medical services and first aid.) requires “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 of immediate emergency use”.
A recent OSHA Info sheet details the adverse side effects caused by contaminated water from improperly maintained emergency eyewash stations.
According to the fact sheet, organisms including Acanthamoeba, Pseudomonas and Legionella thrive in stagnant, untreated water and are known to cause infections when they come into contact with the eyes and skin or if they are inhaled. The fact sheet specifies that workers using emergency equipment following an eye injury may be more susceptible to infection.
Great article! I’ve walked by countless, old eyewash stations in facilities and never considered if there is a proper maintenance plan being exercised for the station. Great topic!