University of South Carolina Health and Safety Guide
EMERGENCY EYEWASH AND SAFETY SHOWERS
In most cases, the initial first aid treatment for a chemical splash is to rinse the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes prior to seeking any other medical treatment. It is often critical that the eyes be flushed during the first few seconds following a chemical splash if injury is to be minimized.
Scope and Application
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that suitable means for flushing and quick drenching of the eyes and body must be provided in any area where corrosive materials are used. Departments that have areas where corrosive materials are used are responsible for ensuring that emergency eyewash stations and safety showers are installed and maintained.
Maintenance and Testing
Eyewash units and safety showers must be available for immediate emergency use. For this reason, they must be flushed and tested monthly. All necessary repairs must be carried out promptly.
Emergency eyewash stations and safety showers have been provided in the many areas where corrosive materials are used. Those whose work involves the use of corrosive materials should be made aware of the location of these units and instructed to use them if needed. General training in eyewash and safety shower use is included in other programs, such as the training provided for Hazard Communication and the Laboratory Standard .
Roles and Responsibilities
- Install emergency eyewash stations and safety showers as needed.
- Ensure units are tested and maintained.
- Provide workers with training.
- Ensure workers are trained.
- Ensure workers know the location of the units nearest their work areas.
- Ensure that units are flushed, tested and maintained.
- Provide general training to workers.
- Provide periodic audits.
- Flush, test, and maintain units in assigned areas.
- Attend training.
- Use emergency eyewash and/or safety shower for initial treatment following a chemical splash to the eyes, face, or body.
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