Wednesday, October 8, 2014

CSB Recommends Updates to DOT's Emergency Response Guidebook

CSB is calling for U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to make critical safety improvements to its Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG). CSB notes that although the manual is meant for responders to use in transportation incidents, the publication is also used by emergency responders such as firefighters, medical technicians and police officers who deal with chemical incidents at fixed locations. Among the recommendations, CSB says the guidebook should change procedures for handling of ammonium nitrate fires; place a cautionary note on the front of the manual to read "Only intended for use when responding to transportation incidents"; and change vague or poorly defined terms.

The CSB recommendations come after the agency received a formal Request of Information from DOT, asking for comments on the proposed revision, which is scheduled for release in 2016. The guidebook is also used in Canada and Mexico, and as DOT states on its website, "DOTs goal is to place an ERG in every emergency service vehicle nationwide." Visit to learn more.