Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 19:33:19 -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: Definition of Acceptable Distance to a Safety Eyewash/Shower
Comments: cc: Gordon Miller
In-Reply-To: <p06110403c241a09a9cd8**At_Symbol_Here**[]>

>The ANSI Z358.1-1990 standard specified the distance to a safety 
>eyewash/shower be 100 feet or 10 seconds travelling time or 100 
>feet. The 2004 version of the standard specifies 10 seconds.
>How do you define acceptable distance?
>*  By time only (10 secs.)
>*  By 10 secs./100 ft., or
>*  By 10 secs./A distance other than 100 ft.
>Please advise.
>"Inquiring minds want to know!"
>Gordon Miller
>Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
>P.O. Box 808  (L-379)
>Livermore, California 94550
>(925) 423-8036
>Fax (925) 422-5176

Standard disclaimer - my company is a Guardian Equipment distributor. 
We sell their eye washes, showers, and safety stations.  Of course, 
that makes me fairly well qualified to respond to this question.

The real issue is whether there any obstructions between the hazard 
and the safety station.  Obviously, you don't want to have to go 
through 2 doors or up a couple stairs when you can't see or are 
covered in sulfuric acid (it's really slick), even if that distance 
is 10 feet rather than 100 feet.

Guardian Equipment has a nice ANSI Z358.1-2004 compliance guide here:  To quote that:

In general, the ANSI standard provides that emergency
equipment be installed within 10 seconds walking time from
the location of a hazard. The equipment must be installed on
the same level as the hazard (i.e. accessing the equipment
should not require going up or down stairs or ramps). The
path of travel from the hazard to the equipment should be
free of obstructions and as straight as possible.

However, there are certain circumstances where these
guidelines may not be adequate. For example, where workers
are handling particularly strong acids, caustics or other
materials where the consequences of a spill would be very
serious, emergency equipment should be installed immediately
adjacent to the hazard.

Laboratory environments may also require special consideration.
It is common in many laboratory buildings to install
emergency equipment in a corridor or hallway outside of the
lab room. This may satisfy the provisions of the standard but
still not provide workers with immediate access to emergency
equipment. In these cases, we recommend installing combination
eye wash/drench hose units at lab sinks (see page 7).
These units are highly accessible and versatile. They provide
immediate protection for the eyes, face or body when a spill
involves a relatively small amount of hazardous material.

Such deck or wall-mounted eye wash drench hoses are a nice way of 
adding protection to each laboratory as they consume only a small 
amount of work space.  For pictures, examples, and diagrams see:

If anyone has questions about these types of units etc, please ask.

Finally, an additional comment for those planning or upgrading 
installations.  Certain states and localities may require backflow 
preventers and/or thermostatic mixing valves (TMV's) on eye washes 
and showers.  TMV's are required for emergency drench equipment under 
the 2003 International Plumbing Code (IPC).  A list of states that 
have adopted the code is available at (you're looking 
for the IPC and the Comments columns in that chart).

TMV's are certainly a Best Practice, but they can be more than the 
cost of an eye wash.  I can elaborate further on this point if anyone 
desires me to do so.

Best regards,

Rob Toreki
Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
you know and trust.  Visit us at
esales**At_Symbol_Here**  or toll-free: (866) 326-5412
Fax: (859) 523-0606, 4905 Waynes Blvd, Lexington, KY 40513-1469

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