Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) require an eye wash station in work areas that have corrosive substances. If your pool doesn’t already have one installed, now is the time to act to maintain pool compliance.
Know the dangers
Staff members are required to undergo training before being able to handle dangerous pool chemicals, making an emergency eye wash station a necessary precaution. Not only will employees be better protected in the event of an accident, you’ll also protect your facility from potential personal injury claims. Furthermore, an emergency eye wash station is an OSHA requirement for pool facilities. In fact, not having an emergency eye wash station is a common OSHA citation.
A piece of safety equipment as important as an emergency eye wash station has standards that have been set by OSHA and ANSI. The eye wash station must be placed within a 10-second walking distance, the path of which has to be free of obstructions and having to pass through any doors. There should be an easily identifiable, highly visible sign and the area around the station should be well-lit.
Keeping eye wash station standards
Eye wash stations must deliver low-pressure tepid water at 0.4 gallons per minute to both eyes simultaneously, for at least 15 minutes. As with any shower facility, the water that is used has to be potable. The station must have stay-open valves that remain open, which will allow staff members to use both hands to hold their eyelids open. These valves have to remain open until they are intentionally closed. The valves must be easy to find and use.
Units that require plumbing have to be maintained and should be checked on a weekly basis to ensure that the eye wash station is working properly. Such inspections are to be noted in a log book. Stations that are self-contained must be installed and managed according to manufacturers’ instructions. Since these units use water that isn’t supplied by plumbing, pool management has to closely monitor flushing fluid and its availability.
One of the most critical steps after installing an emergency eye wash station is training staff members. All employees handling chemicals must know where the eye wash station is and how to use it in the event of an emergency.