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Where are Eyewash Stations Required?

Where are Eyewash Stations Required?

Where are Eyewash Stations Required? 

There are a great many situations in which corrosive materials can come into contact with the delicate eye tissue. From accidents in a laboratory to hot oil in a restaurant kitchen, damage to the eye could result in a trip to A&E or even blindness if not dealt with properly.

So when is an eyewash station required? Do you need to install an eyewash station in your place of business?

Steoplast Sterowash Eyewash Plate in workspace

Evaluate Your Need for an Emergency Eyewash Station

The HSE Health and Safety First Aid Regulations at Work explain that health and safety requirements should start with a risk assessment. Through a risk assessment, you will be able to determine whether there are potential hazards that could result in eye injury.

Download our risk assessment template for free and conduct a thorough evaluation of your workplace to make sure it is compliant.

The three main hazards that you should be aware of in relation to eye safety are:

  1. Chemicals: corrosive or irritant chemicals could damage the eye if they come into contact through mishandling, spilling, splashing, or exposure to corrosive gases or evaporation.
  2. Machinery: moving parts and sharp edges could come into contact with the eye causing injury.
  3. Heat: hot steam, sparks, or flames could come into contact with the eye causing burns or blisters.

Some of the most common workplaces that require an eyewash station are:

  • Factories
  • Laboratories
  • Warehouses
  • Waste Management Facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Dental Surgeries
  • Schools
  • Commercial Kitchens 

HSE requires that “when the assessment of first-aid requirements has been completed, the employer should provide the materials, equipment and facilities needed to make sure that the level of cover identified as necessary will be available to employees at all relevant times.”

This means it is the business owner’s responsibility to make sure there is an eyewash station wherever employees are at risk of an eye injury to be compliant with the law. For example, a lab eyewash station should be easily accessible near where chemicals are handled.

Why should you always have access to bottled eyewash stations?

The HSE states that “if mains tap water is not readily available for eye irrigation, at least one litre of sterile water or sterile normal saline (0.9% w/v) in sealed, disposable containers should be provided.” While it’s important to have access to an eyewash station, tap or otherwise, there are some benefits to having a bottled station over tap water.

1. Saline solution is gentler than tap water

Tap water can be harsh on the eye and cause more discomfort and irritation in the long run, chlorine and other chemicals in the water can make washing an already sensitive eye more unpleasant and difficult. Distilled water for eyewash stations is a possibility but this is usually expensive to install. Saline solution is much gentler on the eye. If you are installing an eyewash station in a school, choosing bottled eyewash will offer young children a more comfortable experience, making eye washing easier when it needs to happen.

Our Sterowash Eyewash is PH Eur 0.9% w/v, meaning it has been specially balanced to ensure no irritation occurs when the body absorbs it.

2. Bottled eyewash is guaranteed to be sterile

With tap water, even potable tap water, there is always the chance of contamination through bacteria and pathogens. If these come into contact with the thin, delicate eye membranes or even open wounds, the risk of infection is high. Bottled eyewash is guaranteed to be sterile until its seal is broken.

3. Bottled eyewash stations are more accessible than tapwater stations

You can never predict exactly where an eye injury may occur or the situation a person will be in. Having a bottled eyewash station does not restrict someone to one specific part of the room. Being able to take a bottle of eyewash away from the wall could make it possible to wash out the eye of an unconscious person, or make it easier for a person in a wheelchair to comfortably carry out an eyewash.

The Sterowash Plate and Accessories can be attached to the wall for easy access and visibility, and the eyewash bottles can be removed. The plate also comes with instructions and a mirror to help with self-administering an eyewash.

The Sterowash Plate and Accessories can be attached to the wall for easy access and visibility, and the eyewash bottles can be removed. The plate also comes with instructions and a mirror to help with self-administering an eyewash.

All of Steroplast’s Sterowash solutions and eyewash stations have CE marking 

Sterowash 500ml Eyewash Plate & Accessories

Sterowash 500ml Eyewash Bottle

Sterowash Eyewash Station & Accessories

It’s not only people that are at risk if something harmful comes into contact with their eyes. Read our blog post on how to safely clean a dog’s eyes and keep your pets safe too.

Where are Eyewash Stations Required?

Watch our video below to learn more about where eyewash stations are required:



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