Maryland employees should be aware that, on Aug. 7, OSHA warned that using an emergency eyewash station that has not been properly maintained could lead to infection. These eyewash stations may be found in workplaces where corrosive chemicals are used, in research laboratories that deal with HIV and HBV and in medical facilities.
OSHA found that the water in these eyewash systems may contain certain organisms, such as Legionella, that reproduce and thrive in untreated or stagnant water. If a worker suffers an accident involving a corrosive material, damage to the affected eye may have occurred, allowing the organisms to be able to enter the body. Workers may also be particularly susceptible if they suffered damage to the skin or had compromised immune systems.