Ask the expert: Locker room showers for emergency exposures
Q: Is it okay to use locker room showers in our ambulatory surgery center for eye exposures to chemicals?
A: It is not compliant to use locker showers in place of emergency eyewash stations for chemical exposures to the eyes. Locker showers would not meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment, Z358.1-2009, on a number of matters including:
- Access, both the absence of door barriers and being no more than 10 seconds’ walking time from the point of exposure.
- Regulated flow
- Temperature control
OSHA has referenced the ANSI standard in violations of Medical Services and First Aid standard (1910.151[c]):
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.
See the July Issue of Medical Environment Update for details on emergency eyewash stations and OSHA compliance in medical and dental practices.