Let’s talk eye wash stations! The Joint Commission is coming at us with some new changes, and since everyone has an eye wash station, you will want to read further to ensure you maintain eye wash station compliance.
Eye Wash Station Compliance
EC.02.02.01, EP 5 is a very frequently scored element of performance—the management and minimizing risk of hazardous chemicals, such as eye wash stations. There are two important clarifications from the March Consistent Interpretation column we want to discuss with you…
#1 The Joint Commission provided guidance that “strict compliance with ANSI eyewash standard Z358.1 is not required” and that weekly eyewash checks are not mandatory, but that the organization’s risk assessment should still determine a time frame.
This is pretty interesting, and you should find it equally as such, since we see so many organizations scored out of compliance for failure to adhere to that ANSI standard, even though they published a FAQ stating that a risk assessment could determine an alternative frequency for eye wash checks.
We do recall one organization that had risk assessed and decided upon a monthly inspection, only to be scored noncompliant by TJC but was successfully clarified the finding after their survey.
So, with that being said, if you do decide to implement something other than weekly checks, we encourage you to attach a copy of the March Perspectives article to your risk assessment to provide proof during survey and avoid a noncompliance score.
#2 An eyewash is not required where you simply store sealed containers of corrosive chemicals, but is required where workers USE or MIX these chemicals.
It is also now clear that an eyewash station is not required for a product whose SDS says is an irritant, although we have also seen this scored on survey!
The key determinant of what first-aid measures must be immediately available is the Safety Data Sheet for the product – and remember, staff may be tested to determine if they know how to access your SDS resource!
Patton Healthcare Consulting
Joint Commission seems to update faster than the last update can be enforced, so we are here for your timely and informative consultative services! If you need assistance with eye wash station compliance or other accreditation challenges, contact us today!