Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Eyewash Stations and Deluge Showers


ANSI-approved eyewash facilities and deluge showers must be available to all chemical laboratories or facilities with corrosives (acids or bases), all biological laboratories, all battery maintenance areas, all process laboratories (non-academic), and all pesticide mixing areas. For larger laboratories, the unit(s) is often located within the laboratory. Smaller labs may have access to hallway units, provided that personnel do not have to travel more than 10 unobstructed seconds.

Access must be within 10 unobstructed seconds from the work area. If a person must pass through lockable doors, up/down stairs, or objects are stored around or in front of the station - even if temporarily - access would be considered obstructed. Showers should not be located in close proximity to electrical outlets or equipment.

Procurement of Eyewash and Shower

To ensure that the appropriate type of eyewash station and/or deluge shower is made available, EHS - Laboratory Safety Division must be contacted prior to purchasing or installation. Bottled water does not suffice as an eyewash station. Each shower should have an EHS tag on it.

Eyewash Maintenance

Eyewash stations must be flushed weekly by the Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Officer or designee to prevent rust accumulation and microorganism growth in the system. (See OSHA Infosheet on Contaminated Water in Eyewash Stations). Allow the water to flow for approximately five minutes. A log must be maintained indicating the date flushed and person performing the flushing. Inspection tags are available from EHS. Inspect the equipment for the following:

  • The eyewash bowl is not cracked.
  • The handle to activate the water is present and functioning.
  • The water supply has not been turned off.
  • The eyewash station water flows sufficiently to reach the eyes.
  • Nothing is located in front of the equipment or beneath the shower.

Eyewash Tagout

An eyewash out-of-service tag can be used when a lab no longer stores or uses chemicals and no other eye hazards are present. You may Print one or contact EHS. Should chemical or eye hazards change, remove the tag and resume weekly flushing.


Annual inspection of emergency showers will be conducted annually by EHS per the EHS - Emergency Shower Testing Procedure and recorded on the tag or log near the shower.


All eyewash stations and deluge showers must have appropriate identification signs posted at their immediate location. Signs can be ordered from various vendors or made in-house and are available from EHS.