How to use an Eye Wash

You have probably grown accustomed to the eyewash in your workplace, but if you had an eye emergency, would you really know how to use it?

Eyewash Station Operation

The following actions should be taken to operate eyewash stations in the event of a chemical splash to the eyes.Eye wash station

  1. Alert co-workers to the chemical splash. 
  2. Move quickly to the nearest eyewash station.
  3. Lean over the eyewash station. 
  4. Push the lever to activate the eyewash. 
  5. Hold eyelids open and direct the flow of water into the eyes
  6. Continue flushing the eyes for a minimum of 15 minutes. 
  7. Seek immediate medical help after flushing.

DID YOU KNOW? 

  • The first 10 – 15 seconds after exposure to a hazardous substance in the eye are the most critical
  • In 2008, there were 27,450 nonfatal occupational injuries or illnesses involving the eye
  • Potential eye hazards are found in nearly every industry
  • FLUSHING FLUID MUST BE BETWEEN 60º AND 100º

Incidence rates and number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses to the eye involving days away from work by major industry division

Major industry division
Number of eye injuries
Percent of eye injuries
Total
27,450
100.0
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
620
2.3
Mining
390
1.4
Construction
5,510
20.1
Manufacturing
6,930
25.2
Transportation and warehousing and utilities
1,580
5.8
Wholesale and retail trade
4,670
17.0
Information
250
(1)
Financial activities
800
2.9

It's easy to forget about eyewash stations until they are needed in an emergency, but this is not the time you want to find out that yours is covered with dust or not working at all. Test your eyewash equipment monthly and learn how to use it. It could possibly save your sight!