A doorway dilemma

By: November 21st, 2008 Email This Post Print This Post

You’ve heard the expression, “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Well, when dealing with eyewash stations, you can think of it this way: “Don’t let the door hit you on the way in.”

At least that’s what the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recommends (see page four). According to ANSI updates in 2004, your facility may have a door separating emergency fixtures, but that door cannot have a lock and in must open towards the shower or eyewash station.

Of course, this makes sense. Imagine a scenario where someone has just splashed a hazardous chemical in their eye. Groping to open the door could mean precious seconds, or perhaps even further injury. And since ANSI standards requires eyewash stations to be accessible within 10 seconds or less of the hazard (approximately 55 feet), a door that swings towards the station is an important safety issue.

Two articles appearing in the December issue of Medical Environment Update take a look at eyewash and shower fixtures from an OSHA prospective. One is on a new OSHA interpretation letters addressing when eyewash stations and showers are required. The other, “Plumbing the intricacies of eyewash station selection,” is also available on this blog site.

Go to my blog for my initial post about eyewash stations. A previous post by Steve MacArthur on OSHA Healthcare Advisor offers additional information on eyewash location.


By Bill Kincaid on December 5th, 2008 at 11:36 am

Sure enough, OSHA cited someone I know for having their eyewash in a restroom with a lockable door. This restroom, being for a gender that rarely visited this area, had not been locked in years. However, the possibility that it COULD BE locked was enough. Even after a pretty good fight, the violation stuck and was paid.


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