If one works with or near hazardous chemicals, one should know the appropriate
safety precautions to take to work safely and avoid injury. However, accidents
can happen - and when a corrosive chemical gets into your eyes or on your face
or body - the first few seconds are the most critical for preventing injury. If
treatment is delayed, even for a few seconds, serious injury may be caused.
That's where emergency showers and eyewash stations come in, providing workers
with on-the-spot decontamination and the ability to flush hazardous substances
away, and minimize the effects of accidental exposure to chemicals. There are
different types of units available - emergency showers, eyewash stations and
combination units. The type of protection selected should match the hazard, and
the chemicals that are used at the workplace. Conducting a job hazard analysis
will help you identify this information.
Emergency showers are designed to flush the user's head and body. These are NOT
for flushing the eyes, because the water pressure may be too great and could
damage the eyes.
Eyewash stations are designed to flush the eye and face area only.
Combination units contain both an emergency shower and an eyewash station and
enable any part or all of the body to be flushed. They are the most protective
emergency devices and should be used wherever possible.
AplusA-online.de - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety