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Ask the expert: Blood exposure and eyewash station checks

Q: We have no corrosive chemicals in our work area that would require an emergency eyewash station under Medical Services and First Aid, 1910.151(c), but we have the units for blood splashes to the eyes. Can we dispense with the weekly testing?

A: Whether used for chemical exposures or blood splashes to the eyes, plumbed emergency eyewashes still need weekly checks, as established by the American National Standards Institute (Z358.1).

In short, while plumbed eyewash stations are not necessarily required for blood exposures (see the July 2011 Medical Environment Update, p. 3), once you make stations available to employees for use, you would need to keep them in compliance, and that includes weekly checks.