Questions about codes and standards

What is OSHA's relationship with ANSI/ISEA Z358.1.

When OSHA audits a facility they refer to regulation 1910.151c - Medical services and first aid. The regulation states:

"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."

The American National Standards for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 specifically addresses the details of OSHA regulation 1910.151c - Medical services and first aid. OSHA typically uses the ANSI standard as a guideline when auditing a facility.

What is the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 Standard?

The ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 standard establishes minimum guidelines for safety equipment used to flush the body of contaminants. It addresses testing procedures, installation instructions, recommended maintenance and training.

Can I get a copy of the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 Standard?

ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 is published by ISEA (International Safety Equipment Association), You can contact them at 703-525-1695 or visit their website, . Additionally, Bradley posts a Guide to the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 Standard and a supplemental compliance booklet to the ANSI standard to our website.

How many eyewashes or drench showers do I need?

Per ANSI/ISEA Z358.1, emergency eyewashes and drench showers will be no more than 10 seconds or 55 feet to reach and must "be located on the same level as the hazard." The number of eyewashes or showers needed for each hazard is based on the number of workers in that area and the probability that more than one will be exposed at the same time. (4.5.2, 5.4.2, 6.4.2, 7.4.2, Appendix B5)

Where should I install my emergency fixtures?

Per ANSI/ISEA Z358.1, emergency eyewashes and drench showers will be no more than 10 seconds or 55 feet to reach and must "be located on the same level as the hazard." The number of eyewashes or showers needed for each hazard is based on the number of workers in that area and the probability that more than one will be exposed at the same time. (4.5.2, 5.4.2, 6.4.2, 7.4.2, Appendix B5)

Is tepid water required by ANSI/ISEA Z358.1?

Yes, ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 requires tepid water.

What is tepid water.

Tepid water is defined by ANSI as fluid between 60-100°F (15.-37°C). (4.5.6, 5.4.6, 6.4.7, 7.4.5, Appendix B)

Do I need to use potable water with my emergency fixture?

Potable water is required by ANSI/ISEA Z358.1. It states that the fixtures should "ensure a controlled flow of flushing fluid". Flushing fluid is defined as "Potable water, preserved water, preserved buffered saline solution or other medically acceptable solution manufactured and labeled in accordance with applicable government regulations." (4.1.4, 4.4.2, 5.1.1, 5.4.5, 6.1.1, 6.4.5, 7.4.4, 8.1.1.2)

Does ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 require the use of a shower curtain (S19-330)?

During an emergency, that involves hazardous material, the injured is encouraged to disrobe to reduce the possibility of chemical burns, over exposure etc. In such a situation, specifically where both sexes work cooperatively, Bradley Corporation strongly recommends the use of a shower curtain. ANSI does not require it.

Can my emergency fixture be in a different room than the hazardous material?

Annex B5 of ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 states "A door is considered to be an obstruction. Where the hazard is not corrosive, one door can be present so long as it opens in the same direction of travel as the person attempting to reach the emergency equipment and the door is equipped with a closing mechanism that cannot be locked to impede access to the equipment."

How frequently should emergency fixtures be tested?

Plumbed emergency fixtures should be tested on a weekly basis long enough to flush the line of sediment. Self-contained units should be visually inspected weekly. Bradley highly recommends using inspection tags (204-421) to document regular inspections. (4.6.2, 5.5.2, 6.5.2, 7.5.2, 8.2.4.2)

How long should I test my fixture each week?

Plumbed emergency fixtures should be tested on a weekly basis long enough to flush the line of sediment.

How do I minimize the spray when testing my drench shower?

The drench shower tester (S19-330ST) is typically used when activating the drench showers for testing purposes.

Are annual inspections required?

Each year a facility must be inspected to ensure it is still in compliance per the current ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 standard. Often work stations are relocated and new equipment is purchased, it is important to take the time to re-evaluate where your fixtures are located and be sure they are functional. (4.6.5, 5.5.5, 6.5.5, 7.5.5)

Bradley provides complimentary site evaluations. (800-BRADLEY (800-272-3539)) Contact a Bradley Safety Fixtures Rep to schedule. Enter your location information in the appropriate field and select Eyewashes & Drench Showers as the product line.

Does Bradley offer any products to facilitate testing emergency fixtures?

Bradley recommends the use of a shower tester (S19-330ST), which catches the water released from a drench shower and funnels it into a floor drain or bucket. Typically an eyewash tester gauge (269-1444) is placed over the eyewash to be sure it achieves a compliant pattern per ANSI/ISEA Z358.1. In addition, customers may use a flow meter, to confirm the flow rate.

What is the difference between coated and uncoated galvanized steel?

Bradley's standard product features BradTect yellow coating, it provides superior corrosion-resistance in comparison to raw unprotected pipe that is directly exposed to natural elements and chemicals. As an added benefit, the bright yellow coating makes the fixture highly visible in cluttered, dim facilities, and is very easy to identify and locate during an emergency.

How do I know if I need to install an emergency fixture?

Consult your organization's Safety Director/personnel for their recommendation. Review chemical MSDS sheets, which indicate the type of treatment recommended for each hazardous material. Other common locations are battery charging or welding stations, anywhere fine particulate or cleaning materials are present and areas where one may be exposed to blood borne pathogens. For specific guidance and a tailored survey of your facility contact the Bradley Corporation for a free annual inspection. 1-800-BRADLEY (1-800-272-3539))

Can I use a self-closing ball valve with my emergency fixture?

Emergency fixtures must be equipped with stay-open ball valves to be compliant in most installations. ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 does however make note that "a self-closing valve may be permitted in a school laboratory situation as a limited exception only where the enforcing authority is of the opinion that the hazard posed is not a serious threat." (Appendix B3)

Do I need an alarm for my emergency fixture?

ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 states that: "...users may also want to use audible alarms or a blinking light to indicate that the unit is in operation. These are particularly important in remote areas. Many companies connect valves electrically to warning lights or buzzers in central dispatch areas to alert the appropriate authorities when the unit is in use." (Appendix B4)

Alarms serve the functions listed below:

  • Alert safety personnel that an emergency occurred and medical assistance is necessary
  • Serve as a deterrent to vandals

Does ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 require that emergency fixtures feature a single-step activation?

The current ANSI standard states that the fixture should go from 'off' to 'on' in one second or less. Bradley interprets this statement to mean that a compliant fixture requires only a single-step to activate. (4.2, 5.2, 6.2, 7.2, 8.2.2)

What is the minimum required distance between an emergency fixture and an obstruction?

Yes, ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 states there should be a 16" clearance from the center of the spray pattern of a drench shower to the nearest obstruction and 6" from the center of the spray pattern of an eyewash or eye/face wash. (4.1.5, 5.4.3, 6.4.4, 7.4.4)

Do I need to have a drain near my emergency fixture?

ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 compliant drench showers feature a stay-open ball valve that allows the shower to flow at a minimum of 20 gallons of water per minute. A person is to remain under the drench shower for 15 minutes, which equates to at least 300 gallons of water that may collect and spread. Drains prevent water damage and minimize slip hazards. Alarm systems may serve as a strong deterrent to vandals, and will minimize the amount of water damage, should there be a false activation.

How does an emergency fixture drench shower differ from a standard household shower?

A standard household shower releases a maximum of 3gpm. Per ANSI/ISEA Z358.1, a compliant safety drench shower must release a minimum of 20gpm. The high volume of water is intended to dilute and completely flush the hazardous material off the body. (4.1.4.)

Does a single head drench hose qualify as an eyewash under ANSI/ISEA Z358.1?

Drench hoses are available with a single sprayhead or dual sprayheads. Per ANSI/ISEA Z358.1, drench hoses with a single sprayhead do not meet all the criteria of an eyewash because they do not have dual spray heads for flushing both eyes simultaneously. Compliant drench hoses with dual spray heads feature a stay-open ball valve and allow the hands to remain free to help open the eye lids. (8.2.1)

Can a drench hose be substituted for a drench shower?

A drench hose is a supplemental device only. It will not satisfy OSHA or ANSI's requirement of a 20gpm and a 15 minute full body drench.

Do I need a back flow preventer for my drench hose?

Local codes and ordinances govern what type of backflow preventer is required. Bradley offers three models. See their technical data sheets for more information. Consult the local authority having jurisdiction for proper compliance to codes in your area. (S27-303, S45-2309, S45-2310)

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