What is the ANSI Z358.1 Standard for Eye Wash Devices?

Understanding ANSI Z358.1 Standard for Eye Wash Devices: Ensuring Safety Compliance

Eye wash and drench shower equipment play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals exposed to hazardous materials and chemicals. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z358.1-2009 standard sets forth essential guidelines for the performance, use, and maintenance of these emergency devices. Here, we delve into the key aspects of the ANSI Z358.1 standard to provide a general understanding.

Scope of ANSI Z358.1 Standard

The ANSI Z358.1-2009 standard aims to establish universal minimum requirements for eyewash and drench shower equipment. This includes devices designed for the treatment of the eyes, face, and body of individuals exposed to hazardous substances. The standard encompasses various equipment types, such as drench showers, eyewash stations, eye/face wash units, portable eyewash units, and combination eyewash & drench shower units.

Additionally, the ANSI Z358.1 standard covers personal wash units and drench hoses, serving as supplemental equipment to emergency eyewash and drench shower units.

Performance Requirements

The primary emergency eyewash device must provide a continuous flush for a duration of at least 15 minutes. This ensures an adequate flushing period to effectively treat individuals exposed to hazardous materials. Secondary emergency eyewash devices are designed to support, not replace, primary units. They offer immediate flushing until the injured person can reach the primary emergency eyewash device.

Location and Accessibility

The ANSI Z358.1 Standard emphasizes the critical aspect of accessibility. All flushing equipment must be located in areas accessible within 10 seconds, approximately 55 feet. This is commonly known as the “10-second rule.” Employers should use a stopwatch from hazardous areas to ensure compliance with this rule. It’s important to note that the severity of an injury may vary, and injured workers may need additional time to reach the flushing stations.

In the presence of highly corrosive chemicals, additional considerations should be made to install the flushing equipment even closer to the hazard. Special attention should be given to electrical supply panels, ensuring they are not within “splashing distance,” particularly in areas with charging stations for battery-operated machinery.

Testing, Training, and Maintenance

Beyond performance requirements, the ANSI Z358.1 standard outlines uniform criteria for testing procedures, employee training, and the maintenance of flushing equipment. These aspects are crucial for ensuring the ongoing effectiveness of emergency eyewash and drench shower devices.


Understanding and adhering to the ANSI Z358.1 standard is vital for maintaining a safe working environment and ensuring compliance with safety regulations. For personalized guidance and solutions tailored to your specific situation, feel free to contact us. Your safety is our priority, and we’re here to help you navigate the intricacies of eye wash device compliance.