Eyewash Stations and Emergency Showers

An emergency eyewash is the means by which to flush the eyes with copious amounts of water to minimize the harmful effects of chemicals and other substances when splashed or spattered into the eyes.

An emergency shower is the means by which to flush all or part of the body with copious amounts of water to minimize the harmful effects of chemicals and other substances when splashed or spattered onto the skin.

Eyewash Stations and Emergency Showers

Tab/Accordion Items

What are the consequences of not providing eyewash stations and emergency showers?

Failure to provide adequate flushing capability could result in irreversible damage to the eyes or skin due to corrosive substances or occupational illness due to absorption or penetration of a harmful substance.

What can I do to protect myself?

Employees should familiarize themselves with the location of the nearest quick drenching facilities. Employers should check quick drenching facilities regularly (e.g., weekly for eyewash stations) to ensure adequate flow and function.

What resources are available to assist employers?

Safety and Health Programs

This example personal protective equipment (PPE) hazard assessment can be downloaded and customized to fit an individual workplace. Employers are required to perform a workplace hazard assessment to determine what personal protective equipment is necessary to protect employees from continued exposure to identified hazards.

Training and Outreach Services

The education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request. 

In addition, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including streaming video services) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC).

A-Z Safety and Health Topics

The A-Z safety and health topics pages on personal protective equipment and medical services and first aid can provide additional resource information. 

Consultation Services

The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.

Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to eyewash stations and emergency showers in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic. 

General Industry

Maritime, Marine Terminals


Other Applicable Standards

The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Where can I learn more?

Compliance Documents

Industry Guides

Technical Assistance

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or by calling 919-707-7876.