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2014 Updates to ANSI Z358.1-2014 Eyewash Standard​
    Tepid Water: In previous versions of the ANSI Z358.1 standard, tepid water was mentioned in the Appendix of the standard. Now in the 2009 standard, tepid water requirements have now been moved into the Definitions section and clearly defines a tepid water range of 60°-100°F . Industry experts tell us that regulators will now be stepping up the enforcement of tepid water requirements, so make sure your facilities are in compliance.

Delivering tepid water is a crucial but often overlooked component of providing compliant Eyewash and Drench Shower flushing stations. The recently updated ANSI Z358.1-2009 Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment standard includes the strictest language to date for the delivery of tepid water. ANSI defines "tepid water" as "A flushing fluid temperature conducive to promoting a minimum 15 minute irrigation period. A suitable range is 16-38°C (60-100°F)". Recent data compiled from end user customers and regulatory authorities has indicated that tepid water is becoming an increased focus during Eyewash/Shower facility inspections.

    Medical professionals recommend that tepid flushing fluids be used to treat chemically injured eyes and body tissue. Temperatures that exceed 100°F can enhance chemical interaction with the eyes and skin. Additionally, flushing fluid temperatures below 60°F can cause hypothermic shock. The ANSI Z358.1-2009 standard states that while cooler flushing fluids may provide immediate relief after chemical contact, “prolonged exposure to cold fluids affect the ability to maintain adequate body temperature and can result in the premature cessation of first aid treatment”.
 Bottled Eyewash or other Personal Wash Units such as single head Drench Hoses are considered to be supplemental equipment only. These types of flushing units do not meet ANSI's requirements for Eyewash and/or Drench Shower stations and should not be used as an alternative to a 15 minute flushing station. The ANSI Z358.1-2009 standard states, "A personal wash unit may be kept in the immediate vicinity of employees working in a potentially hazardous area. The main purpose of these units is to supply immediate flushing. With this accomplished, the injured individual should then proceed to a plumbed or self-contained Eyewash and flush the eyes for the required 15-minute period."
   ANSI states that "Where the possibility of freezing conditions exists, equipment shall be protected from freezing or freeze-protected equipment shall be installed". Freeze Protection valves are a cost effective way to prevent water from freezing in supply pipes and within the flushing stations. Additionally, Heat Trace units, Heater Jackets, and Freeze Protected Eyewash equipment can be used to prevent the freezing of Flushing Stations.
  Simultaneous Operation: The standard now states that units which combine a Drench Shower and Eye/Eye Face Wash unit must accommodate simultaneous use. What this means is that both the Drench Shower and Eye Wash unit must be fully operable at the same time to properly flush both the skin, eyes, and face.
Performance & Installation Requirements

Eye Wash Stations
  • Minimum flow for plumbed and portable Eyewash units is .4 GPM at 30 PSI 
  • Units must be capable of delivering a minimum of 15 minutes of flushing fluid
  • Eyewash units shall be capable of being activated in 1 second or less
  • Stay open ball valves must be used to accommodate for hands-free rinsing
  • Flushing fluid must be provided to both eyes simultaneously
  • Dust caps or dust covers must be installed to protect the unit from contaminates
  • Spray heads must be positioned between 33" and 45" from the floor
  • Spray heads must be positioned at least 6" from the wall or nearest obstruction

Eye/Face Wash Stations
  • Minimum flow for plumbed and portable Eyewash units is 3 GPM at 30 PSI
  • Units must be capable of delivering a minimum of 15 minutes of flushing fluid
  • Eyewash units shall be capable of being activated in 1 second or less
  • Stay open ball valves must be used to accommodate for hands-free rinsing
  • Flushing fluid must be provided to both eyes simultaneously
  • Dust caps or dust covers must be installed to protect the unit from contaminates
  • Spray heads must be positioned between 33" and 45" from the floor
  • Spray heads must be positioned at least 6" from the wall or nearest obstruction

Drench Showers
  • Minimum flow for Drench Showers is 20 GPM at 30 PSI
  • Units must be capable of delivering a minimum of 15 minutes of flushing fluid
  • Drench Showers shall be capable of being activated in 1 second or less
  • Stay open ball valves must be used to accommodate for hands-free rinsing
  • Drench Shower pull-rod must be installed no more than 69" from the floor
  • Drench Shower spray head must be positioned between 82"-96" from the floor
  • Spray-pattern must be 20" in diameter at 60" above the floor.
  • Center of spray pattern must be at least 16" away from any obstruction
  • Combination Units must meet both criteria for Drench Showers & Eyewash