Chemical Profiling II: What You See Does Make a Difference

Issue 11 and Volume 160.

IN PART 1, “CHEMICAL PROFILING: A SAFE APPROACH for First Responders” (May 2007), I discussed the first responder reference materials, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Emergency Response Guidebook and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. These are only two tools used for profiling chemicals. There are other clues used to recognize and identify hazardous materials such as dispatch information; occupancy and location; container color and shape; placards, labels, and markings; and shipping papers and facility documents. If you look at a response based on closest to farthest, dispatch information puts you at the farthest point from the incident and in the safest position. The closer you get to the incident, the greater the danger. On scene, using shipping papers and facility documents puts you even closer. Observing placards and container shapes puts you as close as you need to be. Anything in…

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