Safety Articles

Article # 4501

What are the standards regarding first aid when there is a potential for chemical contact with the eyes?

To clarify these requirements, OSHA refers to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z358.1, Standards for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment.

The standard requires that the eyewash device be placed:
• within 10 seconds of potential hazards and immediately adjacent to strong caustics or acids
• on the same level as the hazard in an obstruction-free path of travel
• in a well-lit area
• near a highly visible sign, identifying the eyewash device

The ANSI standard also requires that the eyewash device:
• begin flushing within one second of activation
• must flush both eyes simultaneously
• must utilize a stay-open valve
• must maintain a flow rate of .4 gallons per minute for 15 minutes