You won’t find pages of regulations for OSHA eyewash stations, but thankfully ANSI (American National Standards Institute) fills in the blanks for required equipment and proper setup, including installing eyewash station signs. When dealing with a chemical spill or splash, getting employees the necessary aid quickly is imperative. Here are answers to questions on creating OSHA-compliant eyewash stations, and our recommendations for floor marking signs to meet ANSI standards.

What Are the OSHA Guidelines for Eyewash Stations?

The requirements for emergency eyewash stations mandated by OSHA state: 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 for immediate emergency use.¹

These OSHA eyewash requirements leave a lot of room for interpretation. The regulations don’t explain what “suitable facilities” are or what distance is considered “within the work area,” and likewise don’t set standard equipment or eyewash station sign requirements. Because the OSHA requirements are vague, look to industry safety standards set by ANSI (American National Standard Institute) to clarify how eyewash stations should be marked, when and how to test equipment, and where the stations should be located.

What Is the ANSI Standard for Eyewash Stations?

The American National Standards Institute adopted a Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment (ANSI Z358.1) to specify universal minimum requirements for plumbed and portable eyewash stations. ANSI has determined which flushing velocity, control valve operation, water temperature, and installation locations are the most effective for dealing with exposure to corrosive chemicals—and has set appropriate guidelines.

The full guidelines are available from ANSI², and help ensure you have visible, easily accessible, and reliable eye wash stations. Use the guidelines to select fixtures and provide ongoing maintenance, and install eyewash signage and floor marking tape to improve visibility and accessibility.

Improve Eyewash Station Visibility 

Highly noticeable signage marking eyewash stations helps your facility meet ANSI standards that require visible, accessible fixtures. Prominent floor markings can direct full-time staff, temporary workers, recent hires, or employees visiting from other job sites to eyewash locations even if they are new to the facility or work area. Look for floor signs that feature the universal eyewash station symbol (an eye above running water and a first aid cross) so the visual is understood and recognized, even at a glance. These eyewash station signs also follow established color-coding standards so the floor markings work seamlessly within your current safety plan. 

Eyewash Station Sign Examples

Example Eyewash Station Signs

Keep Eyewash Stations Accessible 

OSHA routinely issues citations due to inaccessible or blocked areas, yet signage is an easy way to remind staff to keep first aid and eyewash locations clear of inventory, garbage cans, forklifts, or clutter. Our pre-cut floor marking kits clearly prohibit blocking eyewash equipment. And, because the application is simple and doesn’t require drying time, applying these important visual cues won’t cause major downtime. These eyewash station signs help you avoid costly non-compliance fines and make sure medical treatment isn’t delayed by hard-to-reach fixtures.

Eyewash Floor Marking Kit Available At Stop-Painting.com

With an effective, ANSI- and OSHA-compliant emergency eyewash station, employees have appropriate access to flushing equipment and showers to help prevent permanent damage from chemical burns or foreign debris. Properly marked eyewash stations improve safety around hazardous substances, especially when used with tactics for improving GHS compliance, hazcom protocols, and PPE visual cues. For more information and tips to strengthen safety near first aid locations, exits, and throughout your warehouse, visit our Resource Center.

¹ https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.151
² https://blog.ansi.org/2018/07/emergency-eyewash-station-shower-ansi-z358-1/