This is an online version of the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) which is produced by the USDOT for first responders during the initial phase of a Dangerous goods/Hazardous Materials incident. Have you ever wondered what those four digit numbers on the placards on the side of trucks and rail cars mean? Our online ERG will give you your answer.
FIRE OR EXPLOSION
- These substances will accelerate burning when involved in a fire.
- Some may decompose explosively when heated or involved in a fire.
- May explode from heat or contamination.
- Some will react explosively with hydrocarbons (fuels).
- May ignite combustibles (wood, paper, oil, clothing, etc.).
- Containers may explode when heated.
- Runoff may create fire or explosion hazard.
- Inhalation, ingestion or contact (skin, eyes) with vapors or substance may cause severe injury, burns or death.
- Fire may produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases.
- Runoff from fire control or dilution water may cause pollution.
- CALL Emergency Response Telephone Number on Shipping Paper first. If Shipping Paper not available or no answer, refer to appropriate telephone number listed on the inside back cover.
- As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area in all directions for at least 50 meters (150 feet) for liquids and at least 25 meters (75 feet) for solids.
- Keep unauthorized personnel away.
- Stay upwind.
- Keep out of low areas.
- Ventilate closed spaces before entering.
- Wear positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
- Wear chemical protective clothing that is specifically recommended by the manufacturer. It may provide little or no thermal protection.
- Structural firefighters' protective clothing will only provide limited protection.
- Consider initial downwind evacuation for at least 100 meters (330 feet).
- If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions.
- Use water. Do not use dry chemicals or foams. CO2 or Halon® may provide limited control.
- Flood fire area with water from a distance.
- Do not move cargo or vehicle if cargo has been exposed to heat.
- Move containers from fire area if you can do it without risk.
Fire involving Tanks or Car/Trailer Loads
- Fight fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles.
- Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after fire is out.
- ALWAYS stay away from tanks engulfed in fire.
- For massive fire, use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles; if this is impossible, withdraw from area and let fire burn.
SPILL OR LEAK
- Keep combustibles (wood, paper, oil, etc.) away from spilled material.
- Do not touch damaged containers or spilled material unless wearing appropriate protective clothing.
- Stop leak if you can do it without risk.
- Do not get water inside containers.
Small Dry Spill
- With clean shovel place material into clean, dry container and cover loosely; move containers from spill area.
Small Liquid Spill
- Use a non-combustible material like vermiculite or sand to soak up the product and place into a container for later disposal.
- Dike far ahead of liquid spill for later disposal.
- Following product recovery, flush area with water.
- Move victim to fresh air.
- Call 911 or emergency medical service.
- Give artificial respiration if victim is not breathing.
- Administer oxygen if breathing is difficult.
- Remove and isolate contaminated clothing and shoes.
- Contaminated clothing may be a fire risk when dry.
- In case of contact with substance, immediately flush skin or eyes with running water for at least 20 minutes.
- Keep victim warm and quiet.
- Ensure that medical personnel are aware of the material(s) involved and take precautions to protect themselves.
Data Source for our online 2008 ERG
This information was compiled from the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook (2008 ERG) which is produced by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
(Data last updated/verified: Oct. 2, 2011)
WARNING: These pages are for general reference and educational purposes only and MUST NOT be relied upon as a sole source to determine regulatory compliance or where matters of life and health are concerned. This site and the author do not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or the sufficiency of the information provided and do not assume any responsibility for its use.
To ensure regulatory compliance when transporting hazardous materials or dangerous goods, one must receive proper training and certification from a qualified instructor and refer to the current year's Code of Federal Regulations Title 49 (49CFR) or your country's shipping regulations. In matters regarding workplace safety, refer to current OSHA regulations (29CFR) and NIOSH guidelines or your own country's health and safety regulations. No one should ever enter into a hazardous environment without proper training from qualified instructors.
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