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Should You Choose Portable Eyewash Stations?

portable eyewash stationWe’ve written about eyewash stations before, specifically choosing the right eye wash station for your workplace and how to operate emergency eyewash stations.

In this blog post, we review the many reasons why you might choose portable instead of a plumbed unit (tied into your water supply) for your workplace.


Portability is an obvious benefit of portable eyewash stations. You can easily move them from place to place because they don’t require plumbing or drainage pipes.

This gives you the flexibility to rearrange workspace as your business changes. According to OSHA standards, eyewash stations must be accessible within 10 seconds of a hazard. So, when you rearrange work units, you have to make sure eye wash stations remain within easy reach—and this is easy to do when units are portable.


Portable eyewash stations are small and light enough to transport, making them suitable for field locations and, in some cases, vehicles. While they are commonly wall mounted, they don’t have to be. For greater flexibility, you can even place them on carts or stands so you can move them as the location of the hazard moves.


Manufacturers have been able to make ANSI compliant eyewash stations into smaller and smaller units. You can mount them in confined spaces where larger plumbed units won’t fit.


Generally, portable units require less maintenance than plumbed units. You have to activate plumbed units weekly to verify operation and flush away stagnant water, bacteria, sediment and mold.

Some portable eyewash stations use tanks filled with tap water and an added preservative. You only need to empty, clean and refill these tanks every three to six months as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Cartridge style eyewash stations use factory-sealed fluid cartridges. These cartridges can last for two years or so before they must replaced. (Again, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.) Replacing the cartridge is usually a quick and simple process.


Retroactively fitting work spaces with water lines to support plumbed eyewash stations can be prohibitively expensive. Often, plumbed eyewash stations only make financial sense if you’ve planned for them at the time of construction.

Portable units vary in price, with sealed cartridge units typically costing more than tap water units.

No matter which type you choose, take into account not only the initial purchase price but also the costs of ongoing maintenance—in terms of both supplies and employee time.

Portable Eyewash Stations at Select Safety Sales

At Select Safety Sales we carry portable eyewash stations with a variety of features and in different sizes. Many of our portable eyewash stations ship for free!

To learn more and to get help selecting units for your workplace, contact our safety experts toll free at (866) 864-3495 or email sales@selectsafetysales.com. You can also get us through online chat!

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