Today's News / Occupational Safety

Hazmat emergency? There’s an app for that

February 14, 2013
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DOT to hold emergency responders forumWith nearly one million hazmat shipments a day across the United States, being prepared for accidents is crucial.

“The safety record for these shipments is good, but unfortunately, accidents occasionally happen,” according to the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). “And when they do, the first 30 minutes are critical for quickly and safely containing hazardous materials.”

The PHMSA has developed a free mobile app for first responders designed to help those charged with the responsibility respond effectively and safely to hazmat emergencies. It will be an on-the-scene resource that will enable first responders to easily look up the information they need, even at night when a hardcopy could be tough to read.

The Emergency Response Guidebook is updated and distributed every four years by the PHMSA. This year, it will be accessible digitally, as free apps for iPhone and Android that can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play. (To learn more about how to use the ERG, tune into the instructional video here.) 

The Department of Transportation oversees the safe shipment of important goods like gasoline and diesel, hazardous materials that travel across the country in a network of pipelines.

Last May, PHMSA, distributed more than 2 million free hardcopies of the 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook to firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and law enforcement officers. The mobile app will put this on-the-scene resource in the hands of even more first responders, making it easier for them to quickly look up the information they need, even at night when a hardcopy could be tough to read.

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