Eyewash is present, flushed weekly (documented), unobstructed, operational

An eyewash station must be readily available in close proximity to workstations where employees perform tasks that produce splashes of potentially infectious materials and hazardous chemicals. Eyewash stations should meet the ANSI requirements as per the MSU Chemical Hygiene Plan. The eye wash must be flushed on a weekly and documented on a log to ensure the water quality, pressure, and temperature is adequate for decontamination. A link to an eyewash log template can be found here: Eyewash test log template (PDF).

The intent of the weekly activation to be conducted on plumbed emergency eyewash and shower equipment is to ensure that there is a flushing fluid supply at the head of the device and to clear the supply line of any sediment build-up that could prevent fluid from being delivered to the head of the device and minimize microbial contamination due to stagnant water. The duration of this test is dependent on the volume of water contained in the unit itself and all sections of pipework that do not form part of a constant circulation system (also known as "dead leg" portions). Water in these sections is stagnant until a flow is activated by opening a valve. The goal is to flush out stagnant water in the dead leg completely. Where mixing valves are used, both the hot water and cold water supplies to the valve must be considered.

MIOSHA has adopted the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) consensus standards for eye protection and emergency shower and eyewash facilities.

References:

  • Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories. HHS Publication No. (CDC) 21- 1112, 5th Edition.
  • MSU Biosafety Manual
  • MSU Bloodborne Exposure Control Plan MSU Chemical Hygiene Plan 5.3.3
  • ANSI Z358.1-2014 sections 5.5.2, 6.5.2, 8.2.4.2, Appendix B(B7), sections 5.1.3, 6.1.3. and
  • sections 4.5.2, 5.4.2, 6.4.2, Appendix B (B5).

Corrective actions:

Assure that there is an eyewash station present in your laboratory.

Be familiar with the location of this emergency equipment and instruct lab personnel on how to use them. These devices are used for emergency flushing in the event of an exposure so they must be clean and unobstructed at all times. Assure that access to eyewash stations is not blocked and there is at least 6 inches clearance around it (use tape to mark the area-see picture).

Document maintenance by flushing eyewash weekly and logging the date on a paper file or computer file.

The eyewash must supply a sufficient quantity of water to completely flush the eyes. A 15- minute supply of continuous free-flowing water is acceptable. The hands must be free to hold the eyelids open to aid in the complete flushing of the eyes. Therefore, if you detect any type of malfunctioning of the eyewash promptly request a repair with MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities at https://ipf.msu.edu/service-billing/service-catalog/building-maintenance.

Procedures in Case of an Eye Splash:

  1. Call 911
  2. Remove victim(s) from spill area to fresh air only if attempts to rescue victim(s) do not present a danger to the rescuers. 
  3. Lead the victim(s) immediately to an emergency eyewash facility.
  4. Hold the victim’s eye lids open.
  5. Flush eyes for at least 15 minutes or longer if pain persists.
  6. Inform emergency response personnel of the chemical(s) involved.