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ANSI Z358.1 Guide to Safety Shower and Eyewash Regulations

Nov. 05, 2021

If you have ever thought about installing safety eyewash devices or decontamination showers in your workplace, you have undoubtedly come across ansi eyewash standard. But what exactly are they, and what do they mean for you (the end user)?

In this guide we'll explain what the ANSI Z358.1 regulations are for and what you need to do to comply with them; but first, we'll look at ANSI itself.

About ANSI

ANSI (or the American National Standards Institute) was founded in 1918 when five engineering societies merged at the request of the US government to form a national standards organisation.

ANSI is a private, not-for-profit organisation whose purpose today is to oversee voluntary industry standards for the private sector in the United States and internationally. According to ANSI itself, "the Institute oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of specifications and guidelines that directly affect businesses in virtually every industry".

Portable Eyewash Station

Portable Eyewash Station

About the regulations

ANSI manages thousands of different industry standards; the particular set of standards we are interested in is called ANSI Z358.1. These are the regulations that govern the manufacture, installation and use of safety eyewash equipment and emergency decontamination showers.

ANSI Z358. 1 requirements were originally developed by ANSI in 1981 and have since been adopted by health and safety organisations around the world. During this time, the ansi standards for eyewash stations have undergone a number of revisions, the most recent in 2014.

Eye wash stations

ANSI Z358.1 standard permits the use of two different types of eyewash stations.

Permanent, plumbed-in eye wash stations

Portable, gravity-fed eye wash stations

In order to comply with ANSI Z358.1 emergency eyewash and shower requirements, both types of eyewash stations must

Discharge water at a rate of 0.4 gallons per minute for at least 15 minutes at 30 PSI

Be activated by a hands-free, stay-open valve in less than one second

Flush and rinse both eyes at the same time

Portable Eye/Face Wash Station Wjh0983-01

Portable Eye and Face Wash Station 

Eye and Face Wash Stations

Eye and face wash stations are largely similar to eye wash units in terms of location, activation, etc.; the main difference is that water is delivered at a rate of three gallons per minute.

Decontamination showers

Emergency showerheads come in many different forms, such as freestanding, ceiling-mounted and wall-mounted. Regardless of configuration, they all must.

Deliver water at 30 PSI for a full 15 minutes at a rate of 20 gallons per minute.

Be equipped with a valve that can be easily opened in one second or less and remain open until intentionally closed.

 Eyewash And Shower

 Eyewash And Shower

Combination units

There are many combination units on the market which combine an eyewash station and safety shower in one unit. The water pressure and flow rules for each component are the same as their respective independent equivalents, provided that the eyewash station and the safety shower can operate simultaneously.

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