From: ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Contact Lenses in Eyewash?
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2018 20:04:05 -0500
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 5958AD84-7A51-4CA1-9C03-E35A3E8E560B**At_Symbol_Here**

OSHA rarely gets that specific.  29 CFR 190.151, Medical and First Aid, paragraph (c) says simply "Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use."

When OSHA incorporates an ANSI standard into law by reference, it becomes part of Federal regulation.  According to this various Standard Interpretation letters (see ), ANSI Z358.1 was never adopted by OSHA, so while it can recommend Z358.1 as a guidance document, it can not enforce compliance with it.  Note that Z358.1 *is* adopted by other jurisdictions inside and outside the US as well as the UPC an IPC (plumbing codes).  I do not have a copy of the current version available, but others on the list are on that ANSI committee and can comment if this "recommendation" is in there.  I sincerely doubt it is.  Removing a contact lens literally takes seconds, and after the initial splash has been rinsed, one would think it more important to get rid of the lens as it may prevent flushing liquid from getting to the eye surface beneath.  In fact, a good eyewash should flush the contact lenses out to begin with!

So I'd say yes, the ACS video is correct and the other person is repeating lore they picked up somewhere.

More on ANSI Z358.1 compliance here: (disclaimer, my company is a Guardian Equipment Authorized Global Trading Partner).

OSHA does discuss in 1910 Subpart I, Appendix B (voluntary), Personal Protective Equipment" that when selecting PPE "(6) Wearers of contact lenses must also wear appropriate eye and face protection devices in a hazardous environment. It should be recognized that dusty and/or chemical environments may represent an additional hazard to contact lens wearers."  But that's pretty much all they have to say on the topic

If you wish to do further research on OSHA Eye and Face Protection standards, see  That's a nice concise listing.  And you can also search OSHA's web site for other incidental references to contact lenses as this comes up with respect to situations such as welding, ammonia handling and more:

Rob Toreki

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On Feb 22, 2018, at 6:50 PM, Murphy, Dr. Ruth Ann <rmurphy**At_Symbol_Here**UMHB.EDU> wrote:

Good Afternoon,
Is there any word on OSHA's requirement as to when contact lenses should be removed while using an eyewash?  The ACS Safety Video "Starting with Safety,"  states the following.  "If you are wearing contacts get them out as soon as you've given your eyes a good initial rinsing and then continue washing for at least 15 minutes then see a doctor."  On the other hand, someone told me OSHA requires rinsing the eyes 15 minutes before attempting to remove the contact lenses.  Thank you!
Ruth Ann
Ruth Ann Murphy, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
Chairperson, Department of Chemistry, Environmental Science and Geology
Co-Chairperson, Health Professions Advisory Committee
Amy LeVesconte Professorship of Chemistry
JAMP Faculty Director
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
900 College Street
Belton, TX  76513-2599
Phone 254.295.4542
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