KNOW THE LAWS: Eyewash Station Requirements

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For more information on this topic, see “FIRST AID: Take 5 Steps to Comply with Eyewash Station Requirements

KNOW THE LAWS: Eyewash Station Requirements

Here are the basic requirements under the OHS laws in each jurisdiction for eyewash stations:

FED OHS Regulations:

1. Subject to Sec. 16.18(2), if a hazard for eye injury from a hazardous substance exists in the workplace, the employer must ensure that eye wash facilities to irrigate the eyes are provided for immediate use by workers [Sec. 16.18(1)].

2. If it isn’t practicable to comply with the above, the employer must provide portable equipment that may be used in place of the facilities referred to in that subsection [Sec. 16.18(2)].

AB OHS Code 2009:

1. If a worker is present at a work site where chemicals harmful to the eyes are used, the employer must ensure that the worker has immediate access at the work site to eye wash equipment or other equipment appropriate for the potential level of exposure [Sec. 24].

2. If an employer is required to provide a first aid room by Part 11, the employer must ensure that it’s equipped with eye wash equipment [Table 4(1)(l)(v)].

BC OHS Regulation:

1. The employer must ensure that appropriate emergency washing facilities are provided within a work area where a worker’s eyes may be exposed to harmful or corrosive materials or other materials which may burn or irritate [Sec. 5.85].

2. For a plumbed emergency eyewash facility, the employer must ensure that only a potable water supply is used [Sec. 5.86(1)].

3. For a portable (non-plumbed) eyewash unit, the employer must ensure that only potable water or an isotonic saline flushing solution is used [Sec. 5.86(2)].

4. The employer must ensure that access to emergency eyewash facilities isn’t blocked by material or equipment [Sec. 5.87].

5. The employer must ensure that the selection of emergency washing facilities is based upon an assessment of the risks present in the workplace, according to Table 5-2 [Sec. 5.88].

6. The employer must ensure, except where it isn’t practicable to provide a permanent water supply, such as at a remote or transient worksite, that emergency eyewash and shower facilities are provided and located as specified in Table 5-3 [Sec. 5.89(1)].

7. Requirements for tempered water in Table 5-3 don’t apply if the advice of a medical professional indicates that tempered washing would increase the risk of injury in a particular application [Sec. 5.89(2)].

8. The employer must ensure that portable self-contained units are provided, where it isn’t practicable to provide a permanent water supply at transient worksites such as construction sites [Sec. 5.90(1)].

9. The employer must ensure that portable self-contained units at these transient worksites are capable of delivering a minimum flush duration of 15 minutes (or more if required by the nature of the material) if there’s a high or a moderate risk of injury to the eyes [Sec. 5.90(2)].

10. The employer must ensure that effective means to flush the eyes, based upon an assessment of the risk, is reasonably available at a remote worksite if it isn’t practicable to provide a portable self-contained unit [Sec. 5.91].

11. The employer must ensure that emergency eyewash facilities are clearly identified by signs which indicate their location and provide clear directions for their use [Sec. 5.92].

12. The employer must ensure that a plumbed emergency eyewash facility is full flow tested at least once per month, for a sufficient length of time to completely flush the branch of the water line supplying the eyewash [Sec. 5.93(2)].

13. The employer must ensure that workers who are required to use emergency eyewash facilities are adequately trained in their location and proper use [Sec. 5.94].

14. The employer must ensure that an emergency eyewash facility and the piping from the supply are protected against freezing [Sec. 5.95].

15. The employer must ensure that a valve which activates an emergency eyewash facility is designed so that, once activated, the flow of water or flushing solution will continue without requiring the use of the operator’s hands [Sec. 5.96].

MB Workplace Safety and Health Regulation:

1. An employer must provide emergency washing facilities at a workplace where hazardous, irritating or corrosive substances are used [Sec. 21.2(1)].

2. An employer must assess the risk of exposure to hazardous, irritating or corrosive substances in the workplace in consultation with:

a. the committee at the workplace;

b. the representative at the workplace; or

c. when there’s no committee or representative, the workers at the workplace [Sec. 21.2(2)].

3. An employer must provide the number and type of emergency washing equipment that’s sufficient to address the risk of exposure to hazardous, irritating or corrosive substances as determined by the above assessment [Sec. 21.2(3)].

4. An employer must ensure that the emergency washing equipment provided at the workplace meets the requirements and is installed, tested and maintained in accordance with:

a. ANSI Standard Z358.1-04, American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment; and

b. the equipment manufacturer’s specifications [Sec. 21.2(4)].

5. An employer must ensure that:

a. the emergency washing equipment is located in the workplace and clearly identified in accordance with the requirements of ANSI Standard Z358.1-04, American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment; and

b. unimpeded access to the equipment is provided [Sec. 21.3].

6. An employer must ensure that a worker who may be required to use emergency washing equipment is trained in the use of the equipment in accordance with the requirements of:

a. ANSI Standard Z358.1-04, American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment; and

b. the equipment manufacturer’s specifications [Sec. 21.4].

7. In addition to the emergency washing equipment required under Sec. 21.2, an employer may provide a personal eyewash unit to a worker and a worker may use the unit to immediately flush an eye injury [Sec. 21.5(1)].

8. When a worker has used a personal eyewash unit to flush an eye injury, an employer must ensure that the worker immediately uses the emergency washing equipment provided in the workplace [Sec. 21.5(2)].

NB OHS Regulation:

1. Where an employee’s eyes may be exposed to contamination from materials at a place of employment, an employer must provide emergency eyewash fountains in the area where the contamination may occur [Sec. 11(1)].

2. An employer must ensure that an emergency eyewash fountain provided under the above complies with the requirements of ANSI standard ANSI Z358.1-1990, “American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment” [Sec. 11(2)].

NL OHS Regulations, 2012:

1. Where workers may be exposed to contact with chemicals harmful to the skin, facilities must be available for the worker to effectively cleanse the contaminated body areas, including, where corrosive chemicals are involved, emergency eyewash facilities or other effective means of treatment [Sec. 42(11)].

2. An employer must ensure that:

a. appropriate emergency washing facilities are provided in a work area where a worker’s eyes may be exposed to harmful or corrosive materials or other materials which may burn or irritate;

b. only a potable water supply is used in a plumbed emergency eyewash facility and that only potable water or an isotonic saline flushing solution is used in a portable (non-plumbed) eyewash unit;

c. access to emergency eyewash facilities isn’t blocked by material or equipment; and

d. selection of emergency washing facilities is based upon an assessment of the risks present in the workplace [Sec. 63].

NS Occupational Safety General Regulations:

1. Where a person’s eyes may be acutely affected by an exposure to a caustic, acidic or other hazardous substance, an employer must provide one of the following in the work area where the exposure may occur:

a. an eye wash fountain;

b. enough flushing fluid to last at least 15 minutes; or

c. other equipment sufficient for removal of the substance [Sec. 23(1)].

2. An eye wash equipment that’s used must meet all of the following requirements, that is, it must:

a. comply with the requirements of the latest version of ANSI standard ANSI/ISEA Z358.1, “American Standard for Emergency and Shower Equipment”;

b. be installed, operated, inspected and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;

c. be located so that there’s an unobstructed path to the equipment and the user can access the equipment within 10 seconds of exposure;

d. provide sufficient flushing fluid at sufficient pressure for the greater of:

i. 15 minutes, and

ii. the time indicated on the MSDS sheet; and

e. have the instructions for use and an expiration date permanently affixed to the unit [Sec. 23(2)].

NT OHS Regulations:

If there’s a risk to the eyes of a worker from corrosive or other hazardous substances, an employer must provide and maintain, at readily accessible locations, approved equipment to flush the eyes of the worker with lukewarm water or another appropriate liquid [Sec. 320].

NU OHS Regulations:

If there’s a risk to the eyes of a worker from corrosive or other hazardous substances, an employer must provide and maintain, at readily accessible locations, approved equipment to flush the eyes of the worker with lukewarm water or another appropriate liquid [Sec. 320].

ON Industrial Establishments Regulation:

Where a worker is exposed to a potential hazard of injury to the eye due to contact with a biological or chemical substance, an eyewash fountain must be provided [Sec. 124].

PE OHS Regulations:

1. Where the health or safety of the workers may be endangered by the presence of poisonous, irritating or infectious material, eye wash fountains that conform to ANSI Standard Z 358.1 must be installed upon an order issued by an officer [Sec. 2.6(3)].

2. Where caustic or acids are stored, handled or used in such a manner as to create a danger of spillage, emergency eyewash fountains as required in Sec. 2.6(3) must be provided [Sec. 43.31].

QC Regulation respecting occupational health and safety:

1. Emergency eye wash fountains must be put at the disposal of workers in the following circumstances:

a. when a corrosive substance or other dangerous substance is likely to rapidly cause serious or irreversible damage to the eyes of workers;

b. when a toxic substance is likely to be rapidly absorbed by the eyes and cause them to have serious irritations.

In other cases, equipment for rinsing eyes, such as eye wash fountains or any other type of plumbing, must be put at the disposal of workers, according to the nature of the dangers to which they’re exposed. Such equipment must be located near the work station of the exposed workers [Sec. 75].

2. Emergency eye wash fountains referred to above must be clearly identified and easily accessible. In addition, they must be located within the immediate vicinity of exposed workers and supplied with warm water [Sec. 76].

SK OHS Regulations:

Where there may be a risk to the eyes of a worker from corrosive or other harmful substances, an employer or contractor must provide, at readily accessible locations, approved equipment to flush the eyes of the worker with lukewarm water or another appropriate liquid [Sec. 313]

YT OHS Regulations:

Emergency eye wash fountains or other appropriate facilities must be provided in areas where a worker’s eyes may be exposed to contamination from materials at the workplace [Sec. 1.45].

Occupational Health Regulations:

If workers are regularly or frequently engaged in the handling and decanting of corrosive substances, emergency eye fountains must be installed in the immediate surroundings [Sec. 16(4)].