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A doorway dilemma

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 [1] (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 [2] take a look at eyewash and shower fixtures from an OSHA prospective. One is on a new OSHA interpretation letters [3] addressing when eyewash stations and showers are required. The other, “Plumbing the intricacies of eyewash station selection [4],” is also available on this blog site.

Go to my blog [5] for my initial post about eyewash stations. A previous post [6] by Steve MacArthur on OSHA Healthcare Advisor offers additional information on eyewash location.