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Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG): GUIDE 170 (EnvironmentalChemistry.com)

Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)

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.

GUIDE 170
METALS (Powders, Dusts, Shavings, Borings, Turnings, or Cuttings, etc.)

POTENTIAL HAZARDS

FIRE OR EXPLOSION

  • May react violently or explosively on contact with water.
  • Some are transported in flammable liquids.
  • May be ignited by friction, heat, sparks or flames.
  • Some of these materials will burn with intense heat.
  • Dusts or fumes may form explosive mixtures in air.
  • Containers may explode when heated.
  • May re-ignite after fire is extinguished.

HEALTH

  • Oxides from metallic fires are a severe health hazard.
  • Inhalation or contact with substance or decomposition products may cause severe injury or death.
  • Fire may produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases.
  • Runoff from fire control or dilution water may cause pollution.

PUBLIC SAFETY

  • 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.
  • Stay upwind.
  • Keep unauthorized personnel away.

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

  • Wear positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
  • Structural firefighters' protective clothing will only provide limited protection.

EVACUATION

Large Spill
  • Consider initial downwind evacuation for at least 50 meters (160 feet).
Fire
  • 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.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

FIRE

  • DO NOT USE WATER, FOAM OR CO2.
  • Dousing metallic fires with water will generate hydrogen gas, an extremely dangerous explosion hazard, particularly if fire is in a confined environment (i.e., building, cargo hold, etc.).
  • Use DRY sand, graphite powder, dry sodium chloride based extinguishers, G-1® or Met-L-X® powder.
  • Confining and smothering metal fires is preferable rather than applying water.
  • Move containers from fire area if you can do it without risk.
Fire involving Tanks or Car/Trailer Loads
  • If impossible to extinguish, protect surroundings and allow fire to burn itself out.

SPILL OR LEAK

  • ELIMINATE all ignition sources (no smoking, flares, sparks or flames in immediate area).
  • Do not touch or walk through spilled material.
  • Stop leak if you can do it without risk.
  • Prevent entry into waterways, sewers, basements or confined areas.

FIRST AID

  • 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.
  • 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)

Related Resources

Disclaimer

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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