TO:                Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Coordinator
FROM:           Sam Celly, MS JD CSP REA
DATE:            November 11, 2009

ANSI: OSHA regulations on emergency eye wash stations have adopted portions of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard Z358.1-1981. ANSI has revised the standard and Z358.1-2009 is in effect now. The objective of this note is to inform you that eye wash station regulations currently in place must be complied with till OSHA clears the legislative hurdles and adopts the new ANSI standard. Current OSHA regulations require that an emergency eyewash stations be provided whenever employees may come into contact with chemicals that can cause corrosion, severe irritation, or permanent tissue damage. The eyewash station must meet conditions as follows:

  • The station must be no more than 10 seconds walking distance and not over 100 feet from the potential point of hazard and must be clearly accessible and conspicuous. There should be no blockages on the way to the eye wash station.
  • The eye wash station’s control valve, when activated by the operator, must remain in “On” position without further action on the part of the operator until shut off by the operator.
  • The eye wash station must deliver 0.4 gallons per minute (GPM) for a minimum of 15 minutes to the affected eyes.
  • The stations should be inspected monthly for proper operation and monthly inspections documented. Inspection to include flushing that will remove rust, if any, in the system and to verify of continued water supply.
  • The self contained units must have the tank sealed and the solution replaced every 90 days. Tank unit manufacturer maintenance guidelines must be followed. Generally, the maintenance requires draining and flushing of the tank. Refilling includes addition of biocide (costs about $25) and then topping off with drinking water from the shop area.
  • Note 1: Water hoses, sinks faucets, showers and eyewash bottles (sometimes included in first-aid kits) do not comply with Cal/OSHA eyewash standards.

    Note 2: If there is water line available in the shop area, then the plumbed unit is preferred as the wall mounted tank requires more maintenance and is expensive to operate. Also, if a tech uses the wall mounted unit at 9AM, the tech requiring it at 10AM goes blind!!!

    Note 3: The eye wash units should have proper drain available to address the water draining from the unit. If the unit cannot be plumbed to the shop drain, a 5 gallon plastic bucket can be hooked up that can be drained periodically.

    Authority Cited: California T8CCR5162 and Federal 29CFR 1910.151(C)

    GINA: On November 21, 2008, the president signed Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). By November 21, 2009 all employers must comply with GINA. This October, the EEOC approved of the language of the poster that the employers must post to achieve compliance. A copy of the poster can be printed from the attached link and posted next to your current labor law poster.


    The article was authored by Sam Celly of Celly Services, Inc. Sam has been helping automobile dealers comply with EPA & OSHA regulations since 1987. Send your comments to sam@cellyservices.com.

    444 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 1402, Long Beach, CA 90802 ~ Ph (562) 704-4000 Fax (562) 704-5000