Hazmat Personal Protection Equipment
HazMat Incident in Niagara Falls, NY – Liquid Hydrogen

Hazmat team

HazMat in Action!

As you may have heard, a major hazmat incident occurred in Niagara Falls, not far from ICC Compliance Center’s location. On a late Monday night in October, a tanker truck carrying nearly 13,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen (UN1966) hit the base of a light pole in the parking lot of a local grocery store as the driver was attempting to turn around. This resulted in a valve on the truck to become damaged and could have caused the highly flammable liquid hydrogen to be released from the truck triggering a very serious situation for nearby residents and businesses. Although the driver received a traffic violation, nobody was physically harmed by the incident. Watching this news story unfold made me think about how this incident could have turned out much differently if hazmat protocol wasn’t followed.

Initial Response:

As the tanker truck crashed into the pole, local officials on hand realized the dangers of what was inside the truck because it was properly placarded with a UN1966 placard. Had the truck not been placarded correctly, officials would not have known what was inside the truck and what dangers could come from exposure to the highly flammable liquid hydrogen. As a result, officials were able to respond quickly and evacuated all local businesses and roads leading to the grocery store parking lot the accident took place in. Officials Continue Reading…

Anatomy of an ERG

Emergency Response Guidebook

Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)

The North American Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) is a tool developed by the US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Transport Canada, and the Secretaria de Comunicaiones Y Transportes (SCT).

Every 4 years, millions of copies are distributed, free of charge to firefighters and other emergency personnel. The purpose is to provide guidance to first responders during the initial phase of a transport incident involving dangerous goods.

There are Six Sections in the ERG

The white pages are informational. They contain the guidance and explanation on the following:

  • A flow chart provides information on how to use the Guide.
  • Basic safety information for use when responding
  • Hazard classification system
  • Rail car identification
  • Introduction to GHS pictograms
  • International Identification numbers
  • Hazard Identification numbers
  • Pipeline transportation, including pipeline markers

The Yellow Pages are chemicals listed by UN number. The responder would find the chemical by UN number, then follow orange and green pages accordingly. This section is also a handy tool to look up chemical names when you only have the UN number, without having to pull out a 49 CFR!

The Blue Pages are chemicals listed by chemical name. The responder would find the chemical by name, then go to the orange and green pages for instructions. This section is also a handy tool to look up UN numbers when you only have the chemical Continue Reading…

2016 Emergency Response Guidebook (PDF Download Available)

The Emergency Response Guidebook published by the US Department of Transportation, developed jointly with Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Transport and Communications is used by firefighters, police, and other emergency response personnel who may be the first to arrive on the scene of a transportation incident regarding dangerous goods/hazardous materials.

The primary purpose of the Guide is to provide immediate information regarding the chemical, therefore allowing them to take appropriate action to protect themselves and the general public.

Changes and Updates You Should Know About

Free ERG 2016 Download

  • The 2016 edition includes changes such as:
    • Expanded/Revised sections on:
    • Shipping documents
    • How to use this guidebook (flowchart)
    • Table of placards and markings
    • Rail car/road trailer identification charts
    • Pipeline transportation
    • Protective clothing
    • A glossary
    • ER telephone numbers
  • New Sections include:
    • Table of contents
    • Information on GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and labeling of Chemicals)
    • Information about ERAP (Emergency Response Assistance Plans)
  • Also …
    • Updated to the 19th revised edition
    • Updated guides

Plus much more…

Order your copy today and download the free ERG 2016 PDF »

There is an App for That

Every four years the transportation agencies in USA, Canada and Mexico jointly publish the North American Emergency Response Guidebook. There are more than one million shipments of Hazardous Materials across North America each day. While most arrive without incident at the destination, there are situations where emergency action/response is needed.

This past May more than 2 million free copies of the 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook were distributed to firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and law enforcement officers by PHMSA.

Now, there is an app for that!

App image icon from Google Play

The free app, which is geared for first responders—can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play.

Authors of this app, warn that this app is for reference and not to be used in an emergency response situation and the only way to stay up to date is to have your own ERG.

The 2012 North American ERG book in English, French or Spanish is available in two sizes: 4 x 6 and 5 x 7. If you do not already have your copy, buy one today.

Emergency Response Requirements for Shipping Papers

What information do you need on a shipping paper or an emergency response situation? Depending on the country you are shipping from, the answer can vary.

Canada

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, Part 3, (1) 3.5(f) and (2) outlines the requirements for the shipping document.  These requirements include:

Having the words “24 hour number” followed by an active 10-digit telephone number xxx.xxx.xxxx,

  1. Being able to reach the consignor immediately, and
  2. Providing technical assistance without breaking the connection. An outside agency that is registered with the emergency response provider may be used.

USA

The requirements outlined in the 49 CFR  [172.201(d) and 172.604(b)(1)&/or(2)] states that if the shipper is using an Emergency Response Information provider or an agency on their behalf, a 24-hour telephone number and name of the person or contract number must be added to the Emergency Response Shipping paper.

Recently, an FAA inspector visited a customer of ours and the Emergency Response information on the shipping document was something they checked.  As part of their audit, they called the number listed on the form to verify that the contract number was indeed valid.

Remember, during a transport emergency, first responders rely on this information to react to the situation quickly and to react with the correct protective and fire-fighting measures.

Do you need a 24-hour emergency response service?

24-hour emergency number

ICC has a 24-hour phone number available in the USA, Canada and internationally.

Call us today: Continue Reading…

2012 ERG Now Available For Download!

The North American Emergency Guidebook is now available for download on the PHMSA website.

The link is: http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/erg2012 . The new PDF can be accessed in the right hand menu under “Current ERG (PDF)”.

2012 Emergency Response Guidebook

The Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) is developed jointly by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico (SCT). The ERG is intended to be used by firefighters, police, and other emergency services personnel who may be the first to arrive at the scene of a transportation incident involving hazardous material. It is primarily a guide to aid first responders in quickly identifying the specific or generic classification of the material(s) involved in an incident, and to aid in protecting themselves and the general public during the initial response phase of the incident.

ICC Compliance Center will have copies of the ERG 2012 in the next few weeks.

Confessions of a Hazmat Nerd

I admit it. I am a hazmat nerd. I’m not sure exactly when I realized it. Maybe it was the first time I recited a section of 49CFR from memory during a class. Maybe it was when I decided to keep a copy of the ERG in my car so I could identify the UN numbers on placarded trucks. Regardless of when it happened, I now embrace my hazmat nerdiness… even my Facebook profile lists my occupation as “Hazmat Nerd”. Obviously, this is a great benefit when I’m on the job. I have a knack for remembering obscure requirements and knowing where to find them in the appropriate regulation. I enjoy hunting down the answer to tough questions or unusual situations. I like having customers who think of me as their go-to source for their questions.

One aspect of being a hazmat nerd is that I am always noticing things that relate to my job, even when I’m not at work (hence the ERG in my glove compartment). There was the time that I was doing some geocaching (my obsession…I mean hobby) in Buffalo. I had parked the car and jumped out to go find a cache. On my way, I had to dodge some large puddles due to a recent downpour. As I approached one of the puddles, I noticed something odd. There was a Flammable Continue Reading…