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NewsEmergency Planning - OSHAIndustry NewsSafety & HealthEmergency PreparednessGeneral Industry SafetyIn-Depth ArticleHazard CommunicationUSAEnglishFocus AreaHazCom Information and Training
HAZMAT - A look into the future . . .
See how you’ll respond to an emergency!
Transporting hazardous materials may be second nature, but are you prepared in the event of an emergency spill? Part of successfully doing your job includes knowing what to do when there’s an accident involving hazardous materials.
Time to seed (practice)
Time to seed (practice)
“Seeding” is a term used when you prepare yourself for an emergency by pretending it’s happening in real time. Practice by developing a scenario, from start to finish, during free-time at work. See the example below.
Scenario: You’re driving down the road, when suddenly, a sharp turn catches you off guard. You make the turn, but your truck bed wobbles back and forth, wiggling the doors free. Packages of batteries spill out (some of them bust open), covering the pavement behind you.
Response: For just a few moments, you’re startled. However, there’s no time to waste — you quickly grab your HAZMAT emergency response guide.
Next, you flip through the guide’s pages, looking for the 24/7 coverage emergency number. You dial it and explain you’ve just been in an accident involving hazardous materials (batteries).
Explain, at the very minimum:
- The basic description of the material,
- Immediate hazards to health,
- Risks of fire or explosion, and
- Immediate methods responders may need to handle the fire.
Finally, as an added safety measure, you locate the hazardous material’s safety data sheet (SDS) and provide it to the responders when they arrive.
Once you’ve run through the scenario above, identify where things when wrong or where they went right. It may be helpful to tailor the scenario to your daily route and materials you carry. For example:
- Are there specific routes you take every day?
- What chemicals/materials do you handle most frequently?
Practice until you’re confident you understand how to respond quickly and effectively.
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