Calling All ERG Users
Many have heard the phrase, “Calling all cars” used in an emergency situation. The phrase references back to the old police radio days. It was used to call all patrol cars to help other officers. The phrase was the title for an old radio show back in the 1930’s, but also more recently as an episode of HBO’s “The Sopranos”.
How is that phrase being used here? The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has put out the call for input on ways to improve the Emergency Response Guidebook, or ERG. The new version is due for publication in 2020. To see the full notice go to https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-05-23/pdf/2018-11055.pdf
What is the ERG?
It is a booklet that provides technical information and advice for those responding to emergencies involving hazardous materials as defined in 49 CFR. It is used mainly by emergency personnel such as police, fire-fighters, paramedics or other emergency responders. First issued in 1973, PHMSA’s goal is for all emergency response folks to have immediate access to it. As time has progressed there is a free online version and a downloadable app. Other countries may also have their own versions of the ERG. It is updated every 4 years.
It is broken down by the following color-coded sections:
- White pages – At the start of the booklet, gives the instructions for how to use it and Continue Reading…
The 2016 ERG is Valid Until 2020
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:
- 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…
A physical copy of the ERG is required for most drivers and emergency responders.
Download the free ERG 2016 PDF
Download English 2016 ERG »
Download Spanish 2016 ERG »
Download French 2016 ERG »
The PDF downloads of the 2016 Emergency Response Guidebook have been provided by PHMSA.
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.
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…
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…
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!
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.
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.
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,
- Being able to reach the consignor immediately, and
- Providing technical assistance without breaking the connection. An outside agency that is registered with the emergency response provider may be used.
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?
ICC has a 24-hour phone number available in the USA, Canada and internationally.
Call us today: Continue Reading…
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…