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The 10-Second Rule 

OSHA requires that employers provide eyewash stations for employees who work with hazardous materials. The stations must be located within 10 seconds of the employee’s work area, and the water must flow for at least 15 minutes. The stations must also be maintained and inspected on a regular basis. In addition, employers must provide training to employees on the proper use of the eyewash station. The 10 second rule is designed to ensure that employees have enough time to wash their eyes and avoid serious injury.

 Unfortunately, this company did not comply this this code and were subsequently fined almost $10k. 


Why are Emergency Eyewash and Showers Important?

Emergency eyewash and shower stations are an important part of any workplace safety plan. In the event of an accident or exposure to hazardous materials, these stations can provide crucial minutes of decontamination time. Eyewash stations should be located near any potential sources of irritation, such as chemical storage areas or workstations where harmful fumes may be present. Shower stations should be located in easily accessible locations, such as near exits or in break rooms. Both types of station should be clearly marked and well-maintained. In addition, all employees should be trained on how to use the equipment properly. By taking these precautions, workplaces can help to ensure that their employees are safe in the event of an emergency.

Using the eye wash station:

The first few seconds after exposure to a hazardous chemical are critical. Any delay in treatment may result in irreparable eye damage

  • Do not panic
  • Do not rub your eyes
    • Rubbing will just make it worse
  • Remove any contact lenses immediately
  • Shout out for help to allow for coworker help
  • Rinse both eyes with water for at least 15 minutes 
  • Keep your eyelids open by using your hands to ensure adequate flushing of the eyes
  • Roll your eyes as much as possible to be sure you flush everything out. 

The first 10 seconds of getting something in your eye are the most critical, so it is important to have an eye wash station close enough that your employees can get to it in that time period. Be sure to inspect and know how to use the eye station, so if an emergency occurs you can prevent serious eye damage.

With GotSafety on your side, you can avoid citations such as this one. Give us a call at 800-734-3574 and we can give you a demo of our services and how we can help!