In 1998, additions and clarifications were made to the ANSI Z358.1 standard for emergency eyewash and shower equipment that have had an impact on every end user and installer of these products. This voluntary standard is commonly accepted for use in the selection, installation and maintenance of emergency fixtures. It is understood that OSHA uses the requirements from the ANSI standard for compliance with the agency's regulation 29 CFR 1910.151 (c), even though it is not specified in its Code of Federal Regulations. Therefore, it is important to understand the standard to ensure compliance when selecting and installing emergency equipment.
When the standard was revised in 1998, additional information and clarification was added regarding the performance, installation, maintenance, and use of the emergency fixture. This document will focus on 10 important issues, and it is recommended that the installer keep a copy of the standard and any local codes on hand for reference.
Key Changes in the 1998 Revision
1. Spray Pattern. In the 1990 version, ANSI Z358.1 stated that the center of the spray pattern for a drench shower be located at least 16" from any obstruction. There was some concern that the eyewash portion of a combination shower/eyewash fixture could be viewed as an obstruction, so the 1998 update clarified that the eyewash portion of a combination unit is not considered an obstruction.