Last Revised: June 11, 2024

Revised 06/2024

Purpose and Scope

All laboratories and facilities that handle hazardous materials must have adequate emergency irrigation equipment. 

This document shall be used in the selection and installation of emergency irrigation equipment for University of Pennsylvania facilities. Compliance with all aspects of ANSI Z358.1 (most recent) is required for all new installations. That document is incorporated into this specification by reference.


It is the responsibility of the Project Manager, General Contractor, Architect and/or Engineer to ensure that the location of emergency irrigation equipment is identified in the drawings and approved by EHRS before construction begins.

It is the responsibility of EHRS to approve the locations, numbers, and types of irrigation equipment used in laboratories.

It is the responsibility of the group residing in a space to activate and flush the eyewashes serving their space on a weekly basis. 

Equipment Selection

The following equipment is approved by EHRS. 

New Construction

Recessed mounted emergency eyewash/shower units such as the one pictured below are strongly encouraged. Freestanding eyewash/shower units are also acceptable but care must be exercised in the placement of the irrigation equipment so that the shower activation handle does not obstruct equipment placement or obstruct pedestrian traffic.

Resecced shower
Recessed shower/eyewash
freestanding shower
Freestanding shower/eyewash

Existing Construction

The selection of free standing eyewash stations are encouraged over sink placement because sink locations are frequently crowded and access to the eyewash can be hindered.  However there are spaces such as tissue culture rooms where the only location to install an eyewash is the sink.  When eyewash units are installed at sinks, eyewashes that swing across the sink should be avoided because these stations are often too large for small sinks. Deck mounted eyewash-drench hoses are recommended for these locations. 

Installation Requirements

  • All eye/face wash installations shall discharge into a drain line or sink.

  • All eye/face wash installations shall provide a controlled flow of flushing fluid to both eyes simultaneously.

  • Floor drains are not required for shower locations.

  • Eyewash and shower locations must be identified with signs or decals.

  • The City of Philadelphia requires trap primers for eye wash drain connections.

  • Eyewash units shall be installed such that after activation it does not require the continued use of the operator's hands.


Eyewash with drain and trap primer
Eyewash with drain and trap primer

Installation Locations and Numbers

Shower-eyewash units shall be located within 10-seconds travel from work area where they are required.  If located within a laboratory, a secondary shower-eyewash unit must also be accessible in a nearby location such as the hallway or distal area of the lab suite in case of unsafe conditions near the primary unit during an emergency.

Testing and Certification

All new units must be flow tested as described in ANSI Z358.1 (most current). Written certification of the test shall be provided to the Project Manager.

EHRS must be notified of new installations. Yearly emergency irrigation tests will be conducted by EHRS.