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August 3, 2015

Whitepaper Looks at ADA Guidelines and ANSI Z358.1 for Eyewash Stations

eye wash sign with graphic
Emergency safety equipment must be instantly accessible and easy to use by all employees, including those with disabilities. Ensuring that equipment complies with both the ANSI Z358.1 standard and the accessible buildings provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act is the subject of a recent whitepaper by US equipment manufacturer Haws Corporation.

Because there are no conflicts between the ADA code and the ANSI standard, compliance can be achieved by giving some careful thought to equipment, site selection and installation. The paper primarily focuses on laboratory environments where swing-down and wall-mounted eyewashes and face washes allow easy access to people using wheelchairs, for example.

While ADA has no specific guidelines for eyewashes or eye/face washes, it does have other guidelines that can be helpful - such as maximum sink and/or counter height. ADA allows a maximum sink and/or counter height of 34 inches above the floor. The same guidelines mandate that the bubbler outlet of a drinking fountain cannot exceed 36 inches above the floor for wheelchair use. Assuming that someone in a wheelchair will need approximately the same access to use an eye/face wash as a drinking fountain, it makes sense to locate eye wash heads below the 36-inch maximum - although many eyewash heads often measure 39 inches above the floor.

If your operation includes eye washes, eye/face washes or drench showers, this paper is worth a read. And remember, proper signage for emergency safety equipment is a must.

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