Step 2 - Hazard & Risk Evaluation

Risk Factors

When determining the hazards and risks of the material released, the following should be noted as influential factors:

  1. Hazardous nature of the material involved (i.e. flammability, toxicity, corrosivity, reactivity)
  2. Quantity of the material involved
  3. Containment systems (i.e. drum, box, etc.) and the type of stress applied to the container
  4. The released material's physical location with regard to the potentially exposed people around it
  5. Amount of resources readily available (at the time of the incident response)

Gathering Information

When gathering information with regard to the hazardous material(s) involved in the incident, the following sources should be considered.

  • Material Safety Data Sheets (retained by the facility or possibly included in with the shipment)
  • Facility emergency contacts (FEC) or other facility employees
  • CHEMTREC Phone: 800-424-9300
  • The Merck Chemical Index
  • North American Emergency Response Guidebook
  • IDEM Office of Environmental Response Phone: 233-7745 or 888-233-7745

Hazard Evaluation

When collecting information for hazard evaluation in an emergency response situation, the following procedures should be observed:

  1. The Incident Commander (IC) should collect all known information about the situation upon arrival on the scene. (If desired, the IC may appoint an Information Officer to coordinate this effort.)
  2. If the determination is made that further information should be compiled, the IC, or designated representative, should consult additional resources (like the ones listed above) and gather that information.
  3. An Incident Information Worksheet (included in this section, 2-11] should be completed.
  4. This information should be conveyed to emergency response personnel for use in determining additional courses of action, such as:
    1. Should the public be evacuated from the area?
    2. Should protection-in-place measure be enacted at this time?
    3. If there is a fire, what type of extinguishing agent should be used (i.e. can water be used, or is material water-reactive)?
    4. Does the local hospital need to be alerted to begin implementing their own hazardous material emergency response procedures?
    5. What type of PPE is needed?
  5. As events progress, the IC (or designated representative) should continue to monitor the situation to determine if additional information is needed and/or learned during the response activities.