Emergency Washing

Related keywords: Eyewash

Eyewash station with yellow spigots.
This eyewash meets WAC requirements. Once activated by a simple push of a lever, it remains on (hands-free) to deliver a flow rate of 1½ liters per minute.

It takes just one accidental splash of a corrosive substance, even a common household chemical like bleach, to cause serious or even permanent damage to a worker's eyes or skin. This is why emergency washing facilities are required to supplement use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in workplaces where contact with corrosive, toxic, or strongly irritating chemicals is possible.

The best way to find out if a chemical is corrosive, toxic, or strongly irritating is to check the container label and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the chemical (365 KB PDF). Labels, SDSs, and training on chemical safety are required as part of a workplace Chemical Hazard Communication Program. For more about corrosives, see the Safety and Health Alert, "Corrosive Cleaning Products" (60KB PDF).

When selecting and installing emergency washing facilities make sure you meet the function and access requirements found in L&I safety rules.

Two plastic squeeze bottles labeled 'emergency eye flushing station' showing an example of a non-compliant substitute. Caption: Squeeze bottles are NOT a substitute for emergency eyewashes.
Squeeze bottles are NOT a substitute for emergency eyewashes.

Restaurants and other food or beverage service establishments may want to contact their local public health department to learn about possible restrictions for sink-mounted eyewashes on hand washing sinks.

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More help from L&I

For general information, call 1-800-423-7233.

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