The U.S. Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has released the 2012 version of its Emergency Response Guidebook
) for first responders to help deal with hazmat accidents during the “critical first 30 minutes.”
PHMSA will distribute more than 2 million copies of the guidebook to firefighters, emergency medical technicians and law enforcement officers across the nation who will use it to identify specific risks associated with compromised hazmat items, measures they should take to protect themselves and procedures for containing the incident as quickly and safely as possible.
contains an indexed list of dangerous goods and the associated identification number, the general hazards they pose and recommended safety precautions. For example, if emergency responders arrive at the scene of an overturned tractor trailer displaying a DOT hazmat placard, they would use the guide to identify the material associated with the placard and how to respond, PHMSA said.
The 2012 version of the ERG
includes general revisions, reorganized general information pages and new tables such as “Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances” for large spills involving six common toxic inhalation hazard gases.
Updated every four years, the ERG
is available free to public safety agencies in all states and territories through designated state coordinators’ offices. PHMSA has also partnered with the National Library of Medicine to provide a free Smartphone version of the ERG
in its Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders. The mobile version will be available this summer.
Print copies of ERG 2012
are available for sale to the general public through the U.S. Government Printing Office bookstore