Emergency Response Guidebook's Latest Edition is Now Available

For more than 30 years, the Emergency Response Guidebook has been republished (ERG) in English, French and Spanish every four years in order to reflect changes in both domestic and international regulations. Now as an internationally recognized emergency response resource, the 2008 ERG will be reproduced in more than 19 languages worldwide.

From ERG's inception in 1976, nine editions of the ERG have subsequently been published and distributed without charge to the emergency responder community in the USA alone. The guidebook provides initial information to first responders in the event of an emergency involving hazardous materials and is designed to assist first responders in two key areas: allowing them to quickly identify both the generic and specific hazards associated with the materials involved in the incident, and assisting them in better protecting themselves and the general public during the initial response phase of the incident.

The guidebook is also intended to be used in conjunction with other "clues" regarding the hazardous materials found at the scene of an incident--for example placards and labels on transport vehicles or containers. ERG provides both general information for first responders as well as specific response information for potential hazards, public safety, and emergency response procedures.

The guidebook is divided into five sections and color coded to maximize efficiency and ease of use. The white pages provide basic information on how to use the ERG, safety precautions, emergency contact numbers, placards, general guidance on protective clothing, scene management, and some intermodal container information.

The yellow bordered pages are the numerical list of dangerous goods by identification numbers, formerly identified by United Nations or North American numbers.

The blue bordered pages also provide the list of dangerous goods, but in alphabetical order by hazardous material name. Both of these sections quickly point the emergency responder to the appropriate response guide that must be followed for the particular dangerous goods emergency with which they are working.

The green bordered pages contain a table that lists dangerous goods by ID number which represent a toxic by inhalation hazard (TIH), and the appropriate isolation and protective action distances that must be respected when responding to an indecent involving these substances.

The orange bordered pages are the true "heart" of the ERG and represent the numbered emergency response guides that are referenced in both the blue and yellow sections of the guide. These two page comprehensive guides provide all of the safety recommendations and emergency response information to protect first responders and the public from the potential hazards caused by a dangerous goods incident.

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