Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 16:15:15 -0400
Reply-To: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: Eye injuries and green lights

Thanks to everyone for their off-list input into this topic.  The
consensus is pretty much what we figured.   The following is an
executive summary that we sent to the person who made the inquiry.


The green light is simply to mark the location of the safety showers
and eyewashes so they can be easily seen against plant piping and
equipment.   DuPont does this in their installations,including not
only DuPont plants, but places they have administered for the
government and possibly locations that are using DuPont's STOP safety
programs. [deletia about STOP]

There is no OSHA or ANSI standard that requires the use of green
lights in this fashion.  OSHA *does* require under CFR1910.145(d)(6)
that signage have a green panel with white letters, though.   So
using a green light  (and perhaps painting the nearby wall in green
or safety stripes) is a way of making identification much easier from
a distance.   Of course, your employees need to be trained as to the
purpose of the green lights for them to do any good.  Obviously, we
are speaking about U.S. regulations here.   The ANSI standard
Z358.1-2004 only requires that the area around a shower/eyewash/hose
be well-lit but there is no requirement for color.

As to the possible reasoning for the green light, everyone we talked
to dismissed the idea that you heard.  One person even commented that
the eye is less sensitive to green as opposed to red, for example.

Therefore, it is the consensus among all that we talked to that the
green light is not required, but can be done if you want to establish
it as part of your standard markings.   The green color is simply for
marking the location; the reasoning you heard was probably someone's
uninformed guess, a guess which is incorrect.

At 11:23 PM -0400 8/30/04, ILPI wrote:
>We get some a fair number of random EHS-related inquiries because of
>the popularity of our health/safety web materials and safety-themed
>store.  This one we received today sounds a lot like a safety urban
>>Do you have any information that would support the installation of
>>green Fluorescent lights above eye wash station, in the event that
>>someone got chemicals in there eyes.  I was told the green colour
>>light is the only colour the eye picks up upon when partly blinded
>>or blurred vision. when this occurs.
>My instinct is that the rationale is completely false.  ANSI
>Z358.1-2004 does require that the area around a shower/eyewash/hose
>be well-lit, but there is nothing about it being green in there as
>far as I can tell.   Perhaps there is some confusion about the dye
>used to look for corneal abrasions or maybe the concept of marking
>safety equipment locations with a light (or having a light and horn
>that sound when the unit is activated).
>Has anyone seen this green light idea before?  Or know of credible
>sources that debunk or support it?
>Dr. Rob Toreki

    Interactive Learning Paradigms, Incorporated (ILPI)
100% custom content development for e-learning programs.
Ph: (859) 396-5218, Fax: (859) 523-0606, sales**At_Symbol_Here**
Lab & safety supplies?  Visit

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.