The Emergency Response Guidebook 2012 (ERG2012) Training Package is available in HTML as well as in Microsoft Office Power Point Format. The Emergency Response Guidebook 2012 (ERG2012) is primarily a guide to aid first responders in quickly identifying the specific or generic hazards of the material(s) involved in the incident, and protecting themselves and the general public during the initial response phase of the incident. The different placards used in the transport of dangerous goods are found on pages 6 and 7 of the ERG2012.
Caution: The recommended guides should be considered as a last resort if the material cannot be identified by any other means.
Pages 8 and 9 of the ERG2012 depict the general shapes of railcars and road trailers used in the transportation of dangerous goods.
The ID Number is followed by the 3-digit guide number (ORANGE section) to refer to, as well as the name of material. Please note that some substances are highlighted in GREEN and should be treated specifically.
Follow this link to access the Identification Number Index in the online Emergency Response Guidebook 2012. The name of the material is followed by the 3-digit guide number (ORANGE section) to refer to, as well as the ID Number. Please note that some substances are highlighted in GREEN and thus will have to be treated specifically.
Follow this link to access the Names of Material Index in the online Emergency Response Guidebook 2012.
This polymerization will produce heat and high pressure buildup in containers which may explode or rupture. This section contains all the guides needed for the initial response phase of an incident involving dangerous goods. The subsection Fire or Explosion or Health will appear first depending on the primary hazards of the type of substance.
A suggested isolation area, as an immediate precautionary measure, irrespectively of the quantity involved. The reference to Table 1 - Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances (GREEN section).
The distances show the areas likely to be affected during the first 30 minutes after the materials are spilled, and this distance could increase with time. The responders must choose a protective actions: evacuation, shelter in place or a combination of both (see page 288 of the ERG2012). For any intermediate quantity, the distances would need to be estimated between the distances provided for small and large spills. Defines an area SURROUNDING the incident in which persons may be exposed to dangerous (upwind) and life threatening (downwind) concentrations of material. The shape of the area in which protective should be taken actions (the Protective Action Zone) is shown in the figure below. A list of materials which produce large amount of Toxic Inhalation Hazard (TIH) gases when spilled in water and identifies the TIH gases produced.
These Water Reactive materials are easily identified in Table 1 as their name is immediately followed by (when spilled in water).
The materials are presented in alphabetical order and provide initial isolation and protective action distances for large spills (more than 208 litres or 55 US gallons) involving different container types (therefore different volume capacities) for day time and night time situations and different wind speeds. The following table gives a summary of tank properties, critical times, critical distances and cooling water flow rates for various tank sizes that may be involved in a BLEVE.
An improvised explosive device is a bomb that is manufactured from commercial, military or homemade explosives. A Safe Standoff Distance Chart for various threats when improvised explosive device are involved is found on page 372 of the ERG2012. Page 386 of the ERG2012 provides the telephone numbers of the provincial agencies that must1 be contacted for any incident involving dangerous goods.
Additionally, CANUTEC may2 be contacted in order to get more detailed technical information on the dangerous goods involved. CANUTEC is the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre and is operated by the Transport Dangerous Goods Directorate of Transport Canada.
Read carefully all the information provided in the ORANGE Guide and use jointly the GREEN Section if the substance is highlighted. A tanker truck carrying the following product rolled over and is leaking from the top hatch. As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area for at least 50 metres in all directions.
In the BLUE-bordered pages, explosives are not highlighted substances, therefore the GREEN section does not apply. A rail car is leaking during the day, at a well-known facility in your area, where chlorine cars are handled. The Guide 124 indicates that this product is toxic and may be fatal if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Table 3 provides initial isolation and protective action distances for large spills (more than 208 litres or 55 US gallons) involving different container types (therefore different volume capacities) for day time and night time situations and different wind speeds.
In this case, for a rail car, the initial isolation distance suggested in Table 3 is 1000 metres. Since there is a spill, the initial isolation and protective action distances must be taken from Table 1.
In Table 1, the description “when spilled in water” indicates a substance is water-reactive. In this case, Table 2 must also be consulted where the TIH gases produced are listed, for each water-reactive substance.
When searching for hydrogen cyanide in the BLUE section, there is a reference to Guide 117, which correspond to Gases – Toxic – Flammable (Extreme Hazard). Additionally, the protective action distances for day and night will have to be taken from the Table 1 and adapted. The Rail Car and Road Trailer identification charts are new additions to the 2000 edition of the Emergency Response Guidebook. This guidebook should be used only during the initial response phase of an incident (first 30 minutes).
The 380-page ERG is divided into four major color-coded sections: yellow, blue, orange and green.
Some three-digit numbers in the yellow and blue sections of the guide may be followed by a “P.” This indicates that in addition to any other hazards the material may pose, it may undergo polymerization, which can be a violent explosive reaction.
If a placard or label is displayed, but the four-digit number is unavailable and the name of the material is unknown, refer to the table of placards on pages 16 and 17. Orange action guides are grouped by hazard class and any special circumstances surrounding the shipment.


New pages have been added to the 2000 ERG with silhouettes of railcars and highway transportation vehicles. Types of toxic vapor(s) released in a water reaction with listed water-reactive materials are identified in this section.
Guides 120 and 121 provide information on unrefrigerated inert gases, which include nitrogen, argon and krypton.
Guides 127 to 130 are used for flammable liquids and are separated into polar and non-polar solvents. Guides 131 and 132 include materials that are flammable liquids and also corrosive or toxic such as acrolein, normal butylamine and tetraethyl lead.
Guides 151 to 157 deal with materials that are toxic as well as toxic materials that pose other hazards, such as water reactivity, corrosivity and flammability.
Guide 160 deals with halogenated solvents, those which contain fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine. Emergency responders should become familiar with all sections of the guidebook before an incident occurs. The ERG is designed for first responders who by federal law have a limited capability to deal with hazardous materials because of limited training and lack of proper chemical protective equipment.
Guide pages in the orange section are divided into three major sections: Potential Hazards, Public Safety and Emergency Response. Public Safety is subdivided into three sections: General Information for Responders, Protective Clothing and Evacuation. Initial isolation and protective-action distances for highlighted materials in the yellow and blue sections are located in the green section, starting on page 318 (two new pages have been added to the 2000 ERG).
Fluctuations in the isolation and downwind protection distances occur because of improvements in computer modeling, which is used to determine the distances.
The initial isolation area involves the area around the incident where the product is located, commonly known as the “hot zone.” Response personnel may be exposed to hazardous materials in the hot zone. A graphic showing the setup of initial isolation and protective action guide distances is shown on pages 316 and 317 of the green section. Inside the front cover of the 2000 ERG is an example of the type of information found on the shipping papers.
Other information found on shipping papers includes the number of packages, proper shipping name, hazard class number, UN number, packing group and weight of the shipment.
Along with the shipping papers, or attached to them, must be information that outlines the hazards of the product that can be used in the mitigation of a hazmat emergency. If the material spilled is a marine pollutant, or if oil products are spilled on the water, the NRC should be notified. The ERG is a valuable tool to be used to identify hazardous materials and determine actions to be taken by first responders. Free copies of the ERG are provided by the DOT to all fire, police, EMS and other emergency response organizations through a selected agency in each state. The author has developed a training course for the 2000 ERG that is available in PowerPoint CD-ROM version or 35-mm slide versions.
Robert Burke, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is the fire marshal for the University of Maryland. The Emergency Preparedness and Response Guide has been updated for the Burnaby and CARI campuses. While this guide has information specific to Burnaby and CARI, it is also full of excellent information and provides critical advice for your office, classroom, laboratory and home, no matter where you’re located. 116P), the material may undergo violent polymerization if subjected to heat or contamination. An asterisk (*) next to the ID number indicates to consult Table 3 for more information. This will result in a higher toxic concentration in the air and consequently, necessitate a greater Protective Action Zone. Catastrophic failure of the vessel is followed by the explosive release of boiling liquid and expanding vapour. It is staffed by professional scientists experienced and trained in interpreting technical information and providing emergency response advice.
1689 – sodium cyanide) and not for the generated TIH gas (hydrogen cyanide) indicated in Table 2.
For the guide to be the greatest benefit to responders, they need to become thoroughly familiar with it before it is used during an emergency.
Three pages of information on chemical and biological agents that may be used during terrorist incidents have been added.
The table shows some new placards used under the DOT regulations that were not shown in the 1996 guidebook, along with some placards used in Canada and Mexico. Responders should be aware of this and prepare for “hidden hazards.” (The author of this column has designed a “Placard Hazard Chart” that lists potential hidden hazards of placarded and labeled materials. In a circle next to individual railcars and highway vehicles is a three-digit orange guide number that can be used if that type of container is involved in an incident and no other information is available. The 2000 ERG has added two new protective action information sheets to the water-reactives section between pages 360 and 363.
Each protective action guide provides procedures designed to preserve the health and safety of the public and emergency responders during the initial stages of a hazmat incident.
Inert gases do not readily react chemically with any other materials, but may be an asphyxiation hazard and displace the oxygen in the air. Guides 133 to 139 deal with materials that are flammable solids, spontaneously combustible or water reactive. Many peroxides and oxidizers may also be explosive, although they are not listed as such by regulatory agencies. Once an orange guide page is identified for a particular chemical, read the entire page before taking any action. First-responder responsibilities according to OSHA Regulation 29 CFR 1910.120 and recommendations in NFPA consensus Standard 472, are limited to recognition, identification (if safely possible), notification, isolation and protection. The Potential Hazards section is subdivided into two sections: Fire or Explosion, and Health Hazards. Several guides also contain loss-of-cooling information for materials that must be maintained at certain temperatures to remain stable. Many distances were revised, both upward and downward, from the 1993 to the 1996 and 2000 editions of the ERG.
Initial isolation and protective-action distances are intended for materials that present poison by inhalation hazards.
A small spill involves a single individual package or container, usually 55 gallons or less in capacity. This requirement can be satisfied by attaching a guide page to the papers or having a copy of the ERG available for use by emergency responders.


Just as first responders are limited in what they can do at the scene of a hazmat emergency, the ERG is limited in the amount of information it provides. Your state agency can be determined by contacting the DOT Office of Hazardous Materials Transportation Research and Special Programs (RSPA) at 202-366-0656. Each version contains an instructor guide, a student manual, a list of state ERG contacts, a list of private-sector sources for the response guide, a course certificate template, a final exam and a copy of the guidebook.
He is a certified Hazardous Materials Specialist, and has served on state and county hazmat response teams. Staff and instructors at these campuses will be receiving a hard copy for their personal use. We need to encourage young people that the trades are a good job and and the country is short of tradespeople and I feel it will only get worse, untilwe get more young people into the trades.Brian Hill, Level III welding inspector and formal pressure B welder on March 25, 2016Nadia, congratulations! If you have taken our online FRA or FRO courses, this ERG training was included within that training.Students must have a current version of the Department of Transportation (DOT) Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) to use during this course. Generally involves a single small package, a small cylinder, or a small leak from a large package. Generally involves a spill from a large package, or multiple spills from many small packages.
A “Rail Car Identification Chart” is on page 18 and a “Road Trailer Identification Chart” is on page 19. Heat produced from a water reaction may be enough to ignite ordinary combustible materials. Guide 111 is the first guide in the orange section and is used for Mixed Loads or Unidentified Cargoes.
Guide 115 deals with flammable gases, including refrigerated liquids (cryogenics) such as hydrogen, argon and nitrogen. Either the Fire or Explosion or the Health Hazards may appear first in the listing on the page.
The minimum isolation distance in the 1993 guide was 500 feet; in the 1996 edition the minimum isolation distance was 100 feet, or 30 meters. A large spill involves a large package or container, or multiple small packages or containers.
One important change regarding shipping papers occurred in the 1993 ERG and involves the requirement for an emergency telephone number that must appear at the top of shipping papers. Marine shipping papers are in a “mail box” on a barge or in a holder on the bridge of a tugboat or ship.
On page 380 is a list of emergency-response telephone numbers for Canada, Mexico, Brazil and the U.S. For information about the “Placard Hazard Chart” or the ERG training course contact Robert Burke, 104 4th Ave. Burke is a veteran of over 18 years in the fire service, in career and volunteer fire departments, having attained the ranks of lieutenant and assistant chief, and served as deputy state fire marshal.
Guides for the ATC, DTC and Marine campuses can be found online and will be updated within the next year.
Also sincere thanks for your valedictorian comments at last week's BCIT Convocation ceremonies.
The yellow section, which starts on page 25, contains a numerical listing of United Nations four-digit identification numbers.
Alphabetical listings of materials found in the yellow section are located in the blue section starting on page 105.
Organic peroxides may undergo polymerization reactions that can cause violent container failures.
If shipping papers have been located, the emergency contact number should be used by emergency responders first when trying to gain information about the product. NRC is the notification, communications, technical assistance, and coordination center for the National Response Team (NRT), and it can provide much of the same information on chemicals that Chemtrec does through its OM-TADS database. He has an associate’s degree in fire protection technology and a bachelor’s degree in fire science, and is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration.
You inspired everyone in the room, and reminded us here at BCIT what we're here for - you're a great ambassador, and our best wishes go with you for ongoing success.
Course FormatThis training is provided through our state-of-the-art Online Training System (OTS) and is a 100% online, fully narrated course. These numbers are located in the center of placards on vehicles transporting bulk quantities of hazardous materials. Guide 118 lists information for flammable gases that are also corrosive, such as ethyl and methylamine.
Polar solvents involved in fire or liquid spills that must be blanketed with foam should be addressed with an alcohol-type or polar-solvent foam.
Guide 168 deals with carbon monoxide and Guide 169 provides information on molten aluminum, which has an elevated temperature of 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit. Day is considered anytime between sunrise and sunset, and night anytime between sunset and sunrise. NRC can also provide facilities to conduct conference calls with over 20 different parties that can be transmitted to the incident scene through its telephone system.
Once the four-digit number is located in the yellow section, a reference is made to an action guide in the orange section.
He is the author of the books Hazardous Materials Chemistry For Emergency Responders, published in 1997, and Counter-Terrorism For Emergency Responders, published in 1999. The course features interactive training, which combines audio and visual elements for maximum retention.
When a material listed in the yellow or blue section is highlighted, initial isolation and protective-action distances are listed in the green section, starting on page 318. Evacuation distances listed in the green section are used only if the material is not on fire. For your convenience, it can be completed over time, and your progress will be saved to the last section completed. This course should be used as one part of your employer’s overall Emergency Response Plan training program. This course is not meant to replace company-specific training provided by your employer on equipment use and policies and procedures for your particular work environment.



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