HAZWOPER: Obtaining Information in an Emergency Video and DVD Excerpt:
As a first responder at the scene of a hazardous materialsincident you must obtain specific information about any material involved inthe incident as soon as possible. Many reference texts and organizations canprovide response personnel with technical data and physical assistanceregarding both the hazards associated with an incident, and methods to dealwith these hazards. Some of those texts are facility emergency response plans,spill prevention control and countermeasure plans (SPCC),
National Fire Protection Association 704system (NFPA), the Department of Transportation “Emergency Response Guidebook”,material safety data sheets, and shipping documents are an immediate source ofinformation in an emergency.Emergency Response Plans
Each facility should have a comprehensive, written facilityemergency response plan which observes the following priorities: The safety ofon-site personnel must not be compromised, the safety of others at or near thescene must be ensured, the environment must be safeguarded, and property mustbe protected. Each facility emergency response plan must be workable, suitablefor the area to be covered, and whenever possible involve local officials. Itmust be prepared in advanced, and must be written. All personnel involved mustbe familiar with the plan. Practice drills are the way to train those involvedin emergency response activities. The Occupational Safety & HealthAdministration, or OSHA, has issued a standard specifically developed toprotect workers in a hazardous materials environment, and to help them handlehazardous waste safely and effectively. This regulation is found in 29 CFR1910.120 and it deals with Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response,or HAZWOPER. This standard requires that each employer develop and implement awritten facility emergency response plan to handle possible emergencies. Theplan must include:
Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC Plans)
- Personnel roles, lines of authority, and communicationprocedures.
- Pre-emergency planning.
- Emergency recognition and prevention.
- Emergency medical and first-aid treatment.
- Methods or procedures for alerting on-site employees
- Safe distances and places of refuge.
- Site security and control
- Critique of response and follow-up
- Personal Protective and emergency equipment
- Evacuation routes and procedures
- Site topography layout and prevailing weather conditions
- Procedures for reporting incidents to local state andfederal agencies
- Procedures must be integrated into the disaster, fire,and/or emergency response plans of the site’s nearest local, state, and federalagencies
- The plan requirements must be rehearsed regularly, reviewedperiodically, and updated as necessary
- A distinguishable alarm system must be in operation to alertemployees of emergencies
- The emergency plan must be available for inspection byemployees, employee representatives, OHSA, and EPA officials, and other federalagencies.
Any facility with above ground petroleum storage tanks thatcould possibly discharge oil into navigable waters, or adjoining shorelines isrequired to have an SPCC plan. SPCC plans are approved by a professionalengineer and must be regularly updated by each facility. The informationcontained in an SPCC plan is different for each facility. Typically, the planprovides a physical description of the facility including a map and plot plan,data concerning drainage tanks and supply lines are included. The contingencyplan section of the SPCC plan is an excellent source of information in anemergency.