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Eye wash stations are more than just an OSHA requirement - they're a good idea.


Eye wash stations are more than just an OSHA requirement - they're a good idea.OSHA or Occupational Safety and Health Administration monitor safety in the workplace.They also provide the safety regulations that keep employees safe and you as the employer safe from liability issues.

If you are unsure if you need an eye wash station, the best place to start is OSHA.
They produce all of the regulations that govern safety in the workplace.You may have heard that OSHA requires many unnecessary items and are just trying to justify their existence.However, they have experience on the national level and help not only protect your employees, but will help protect you as the employer.

For instance, why does OSHA require eye wash stations in the dentist's office?Many dentists have asked that question.A dentist and father found out why the eye wash station is required in the next example.

The father got a phone call from the dentist saying that they had somehow managed to get phosphoric acid (37%) into my son's eye. Once I got there, it was painful to even watch. The acid is used to clean and rough up teeth prior to fillings or other procedures.

The son looks like he will be fine - there was an eye wash station in the office and he rushed to it and rinsed the eye right away.According to the eye doctor who saw the son later, that made a big difference.

The dentist said that she had never used the eye wash station prior to that incidence. Further more, she had never even heard of any other dentist using an eye wash station.Hence, if OSHA had not required the eye wash station to be there, then it probably wouldn't have been there and this young man's life could have been dramatically different.

According to OSHA the eye wash station must be easily accessible, labeled, and attached to a `dedicated cold water source.'A `dedicated cold water source' means that only cold water is plumbed to the eye wash station.This means that the eye wash station cannot be connected to a sink if the sink has cold and hot water plumbed to it.

The reason OSHA is very specific about the water source is because if hot water is used to flush the eye it could actually cause more problems.For example, hot water could scald the eye if it is hot enough.Or the hot water could accelerate the harm that the chemical spilled in the eye is creating.

Since the eye wash station is intended for use in emergency situations, the eye wash station cannot double for other uses that could temporarily make the station unusable.Hot water running through the eye wash station would make it unusable.You can't have the hot water plumbed to the station and turned off.The hot water needs to be completely disconnected.

Additionally, eyewash stations must be capable of producing a stream of cold water for several minutes. Eye flushing devices that are commonly found at a pharmacy or any liquid other than water, such as eye drops, do not meet OSHA requirements for an eyewash station. Sterile saline eyewashes are also not acceptable since it is possible that the saline might react with whatever is being flushed out of the eye.

In summary, eye wash stations at work are more than an OSHA requirement, they are a great idea.You may not ever need the eye wash station, but when you do it could be the all the difference for an employee.Additionally, you must have only cold water connected to the eye wash station.

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