Division of Labor and Industry


MOSH Instruction 99-2 - Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH)

TO: All MOSH Personnel
FROM: Keith L. Goddard, Assistant Commissioner
SUBJECT: Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment
DATE: December 21, 1999

A.  Purpose:

To establish a uniform policy in the application of 29 CFR 1910.151 and ANSI 2358.1 (Attachment)

B. Scope:

This Instruction applies to all Compliance and Consultation personnel.

C.  Action:

Effective immediately, the Assistant Chief, MOSH Services, Regional Supervisors and Consultation Program Manager shall ensure that the information contained in this instruction is communicated in a timely manner and appropriate training is instituted.

D.   Background:

Employers are required to provide, within the work area for immediate use, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body where employees may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials. This requirement is found in 29 CFR 1910.151(c). This standard does not provide information or requirements that must be met relating to design, installation or maintenance of emergency eyewash and shower equipment. Historically, MOSH has cited this standard where such facilities were not provided or where provided facilities did not meet the requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard 2358.1. OSHA, on the other hand, cites deficiencies of installed units under the General Duty Clause, not 1910.151(c). 

E.  Procedure:

1. Citations shall be issued for 29 CFR 1910.151(c) where the employer has failed to provide emergency eyewash and/or shower equipment when employees are exposed to injurious corrosive materials. Citations shall be classified as Serious or Other in accordance with the MOSH Field Operations Manual.

2. Where provided emergency eyewash and/or shower equipment does not meet the design, installation and/or maintenance requirements of the most current ANSI 2358.1 standard, and where these deficiencies present actual or potential threats of serious injury, illness or death, citations of the Maryland General Duty Clause shall be considered. For instance:

a.  portable eyewash bottles that do not provide sufficient flushing time may cause serious, irreversible eye damage;

b.  facilities supplying water in excess of 100 degrees F, instead of tepid or lukewarm water (60-95 degrees F) may cause severe eye damage or enhance chemical interaction with the eyes and skin;

c.  facilities located more than 10 seconds away from the point of exposure may lead to greater contact time of the corrosive material with the eyes or skin and cause serious injury to the eyes and skin.

3. Where provided and the facilities does not meet the ANSI 2358.1 requirements and there is only the threat of minor eye or skin irritation and/or no perceived hazard, no citation shall be issued and the employer shall be encouraged to comply with the most current ANSI 2358.1 standard.

cc:  Commissioner Kenneth Reichard
       Deputy Commissioner Ileana O’Brien
       Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Krasnoff
       Office of Administrative Hearings

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