The Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) is developed jointly by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico (SCT). The ERG is intended to be used by firefighters, police, and other emergency services personnel who may be the first to arrive at the scene of a transportation incident involving hazardous material. It is primarily a guide to aid first responders in (1) quickly identifying the specific or generic classification of the material(s) involved in an incident, and (2) protecting themselves and the general public during the initial response phase of the incident. The ERG is updated every four years to accommodate new products and technology. DOT Distributed Over 2 Million 2012 Emergency Response Guidebooks to State Coordinators beginning in late May 2012.
DOT’s goal is to place an Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) in each emergency service vehicle, nationwide, through distribution to state and local public safety authorities. To date, nearly 11 million copies have been distributed without charge to the emergency response community. Copies are made available to public emergency responders through State Coordinators (refer to the menu on the right) in the United States of America. In Canada, contact CANUTEC at 613-992-4624 or via e-mail at [email protected] for distribution information. In Mexico, call SCT at 52-5-684-1275. Copies also are available commercially through the GPO Bookstore and other commercial vendors. For a PC download of the 2008 ERG and more information from Transport Canada please download here:
ERGO 2008 provides the choice of an English, French or Spanish interface within one integrated program. To set the default language used by the program, first click the “Language” menu item and select English, French or Spanish; then click once again on the “Language” menu item and select “Set default language”. While you are using ERGO 2008, the language of the application can be changed temporarily by simply clicking the “Language” menu item and then by clicking the language of your choice. When you close and reuse the program, it will restart with your originally set default language choice.
To set default distance units as shown for Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances, first click the “Units” menu item and select “Imperial” or “Metric”; then click once again on the “Units” menu item and select “Set default”. In the French version, only the “Metric” option is available. While you are using ERGO 2008, the units of use can be changed temporarily by clicking the “Units” menu item and then by clicking the units of your choice. You can also change units by simply clicking the “Metric” or “Imperial” button displayed in the toolbar, this button toggles between options when clicked. When you close and reuse the program, it will restart with your originally set default units choice.
In order to utilize the functionality of the Emergency Response Guidebook, two methods of access are provided. The first method is through the use of the toolbar icons and the second method is through the use of tabs. All of these have mouse-over tool tips to indicate what they represent and help guide you in the use of the Emergency Response Guide 2008. When you start the ERGO 2008 application, you will find yourself at the “Search Results” tab with the complete ID Number Index displayed on the screen (yellow list).
Searching in ERGO 2008
ERGO 2008 has new and enhanced Search features.
1) Search box
The Search box (at the top left) allows you to do a search for
- A single Name of Material or,
- A single ID Number, also known as UN Number (United Nations Number).
If you are looking for information on a single ID number or for a single material name, the Search box is the quickest method.
To search for an ID number, enter the 4-digit number without the letters UN (for example: 1202 not UN1202) inside the Search box. To search for a material name, simply enter the letters in the Search box. As you type in the letters, the potential search results will appear. The quantity of matching material names decreases as you enter more letters.
A search in the Search box can also be performed from any tab when the background colour of that box is white. If the background colour is grey, the Search feature is not available. When you perform a search from within a tab, the search is actually performed within the information listed under that tab. For example, searching for a TIH material within the “TIIPAD” tab will produce results. On the other hand searching for a non-TIH material within that same tab will indicate there is no match and will redirect you to the “Search Results” tab, which contains the results for your search criteria.
Please note that in the French and Spanish versions, the accents in the material names are mandatory.
2) Advanced Search
If you are looking for multiple ID numbers, two or more Material names or if you are searching with only a partial material name, the Advanced Search would be the method to use. The Advanced Search can also be used to search for Emergency Response Guidebook pages or even a combination of all of the above items. Once you click on “Advanced Search”, near the toolbar icons, a search form will appear in a panel to the left.
To perform the Advanced search:
- Enter your search criteria in the “Search for” box (either a guide number, an ID number or a portion of the name of material);
- Select the “In” field from its drop down list;
- Select the operator (OR/AND); and,
- Click the “Add” button or press the Enter key on your computer keyboard
The search criteria you have entered is shown in the grey area underneath the “Add” button. Your search results are shown to the right. Repeat this process until you have added all of your search criterias. Then move from tab to tab to view the results.
At any time, you can switch from the ID number Index (yellow list) to the Name of Material Index (blue list) by using the yellow and blue book icons in the toolbar.
In the “Advanced Search”, the operator “OR” means the search can match any criteria entered while the operator “AND” means the search must match all criteria entered. For example, doing a search for “Oxygen” AND “Compressed” will give you all the Names of Materials that contains both of these words. Doing a search for “Oxygen” OR “Compressed” will give you all the entries that have the word “Oxygen” as well as all the entries that have the word “Compressed”.
The following information concerns both type of searches (Search box &Advanced Search):
The result of a search will appear in the “Search Results” tab and the number of hits will be shown at the bottom of the screen.
Once a Search has been completed, you can navigate in the following tabs “Emergency Response Guides”, “TIIPAD”, “Water Reactive” or “Chemical Warfare” and view the results for your specific search criteria. Please remember that if the material is not a TIH, a Water Reactive or a Chemical Warfare, you will be provided with a message indicating there is no information matching your search criteria and you will be returned to the “Search Results” tab. If you click the tab “Emergency Response Guides”, a list of Guide pages will be displayed on the left of the screen. This list represents material names that match your search criteria.. When this tab is selected, the “Advanced Search” window disappears and the “Advanced Search” button is no longer available for selection. If you wish to return to the “Advanced Search” function, click on the “Search Results” tab, the “Advanced Search” button becomes active again, and your original search criteria reappears in the “Advanced Search” box.
In order to view the complete list of materials or Guides under their respective tabs, you must click on “Show All”.
Show All: Displays the full list of materials or Emergency Response Guides. When “Show All” is clicked, it also clears the search criterias in the “Advanced Search” window.
ID Number Index or yellow book icon toolbar button: This is the index of Dangerous Goods as they appear in the Yellow Section of the Guidebook, sorted by ID Number. The Guide Page (orange section) for each material is accessible by double-clicking an item.
Name of Material Index or blue book icon toolbar button: This is the index of Dangerous Goods as they appear in the Blue Section of the Guidebook, sorted by Material name. The Guide Page (orange section) for each material is also accessible by double-clicking an item.
For the above two index lists, those materials presenting a special hazard, such as Toxic Inhalation Hazard (TIH), Water Reactive Material (WRM) or Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA), are highlighted in green and the specific hazard is indicated in the far right column with an icon (skull and crossbones for TIH, water droplet for WRM and a gas mask for CWA). Those that have a Polymerisation Hazard have the letter “P” following the number of the referenced Guide.
When an item having any of these special hazards is double-clicked, ERGO may warn you more specifically of the hazard and/or provide or request additional information.
For TIH and CWA materials, an extract of the Table of Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances (TIIPAD) for the selected material is shown as a green header above the Guide page (orange section).
For Water Reactive Materials (WRM), a pop-up message box will ask you if the material has been spilled in water, if your answer is “yes”, a dialog box warns you of the toxic gas(es) produced. When you click “OK”, the green header with the extracted TIIPAD will indicate the gas(es) generated (in a white box) under “Gas(es) Produced When Spilled in Water”. The pertinent Guide page for each toxic gas generated can be accessed by double-clicking the name of the gas located in this white box. To return to the original Material Guide page, click the “Return” button in the Green header.
For a Polymerisation Hazard a dialog box with a warning appears.
Click this tab to see the results of a Search or to see the ID Number Index (yellow list) or the Name of Material Index (blue list) depending on which toolbar icon was clicked (Yellow or Blue book icon).
Click this tab to access the textual sections of ERGO (Emergency Response Guidebook). All other parts of ERGO are accessible from here by clicking on the pertinent section title. Titles that are coloured blue will display information associated with a different tab.
Click this tab, or the three specific toolbar icons, to access the Placards, as well as the Rail Car and the Road Trailer silhouettes. Select the desired placard or silhouette page by clicking the smaller image at the bottom right. Placing the mouse pointer over the drawing of a placard, rail car or road trailer will enlarge it. Double-clicking a drawing will open the Guide Page referenced by the placard or silhouette.
Clicking this tab or the orange book icon toolbar button, directly accesses the list of all Guide Numbers. Select any one of the Guides by clicking the Guide Number in the left column.
Note: If there is an entry in the Search box or in the Advanced Search, you will only see the list of specific Guide Pages for that Search. To see all the Guide Pages, click on the button “Show All” in the menu bar or “Clear” in the Advanced Search panel.
The Guide Pages appear in the same format as the Guidebook and can be printed by going to the menu File>Print.
If the Guide page was selected by double-clicking a product from an index or search results, the Name of the selected Material with its ID Number will appear in plain text below the Guide title. If a material (or a by-product of its water-reactivity) poses a substantial threat of toxicity by inhalation because it can appreciably disperse in air, its Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distance (IIPAD) information will be displayed as a green header.
Clicking this tab, or the skull &crossbones icon toolbar button, shows the Table of Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances (TIIPAD) for materials that are a Toxic Inhalation Hazard (TIH), Water Reactive Materials (WRM) or for Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA). You will not often need to consult the whole Table because the information it contains will automatically be provided as a green header above the Guide Page when accessed by double-clicking a material highlighted in green.
In this list, the Water Reactive Materials will have the mention “when spilled in water”, the Chemical Warfare Agents will have “when used as a weapon”, while the Toxic Inhalation Hazard materials will have no mention or will have the additional mention “when spilled on land” if they are also WRM.
This table provides some information not available from other windows. Mousing over the heading “Small Spills” or “Large Spills” provides a definition for these spill sizes. Clicking the heading “First Isolate in all Directions” or “Then Protect persons Downwind during-” shows a graphic for these spill response actions.
Clicking this tab, or the water droplet icon toolbar button, provides a list of Water Reactive materials that generates one or more toxic gases when spilled in water. The names of the Toxic Inhalation Hazard (TIH) gases generated appear in the corresponding columns. Clicking any material in any column produces the same behaviour as clicking the material in the indexes.
It is intended that the Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances (IIPAD) for the water reactive material itself (when spilled in water) be consulted and not the IIPAD for the generated gas(es). This is due to the fact that the distances for the generated gases were already taken into consideration when calculating the distances for the water reactive material.
Clicking this tab, or the gas mask icon toolbar button, shows the list of Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA). Double-clicking a CWA produces the same behaviour as clicking the material in the indexes.
When a Guide page is accessed from either the ID Number, Name of Material, TIIPAD, WRM, CWA indexes or the “Search Results” tab, the item is recorded in the History report for easier accessibility. It remains available until deleted by the user. An item can be deleted by right-clicking the item and by selecting the delete button that appears. All items can be removed by right-clicking the word History at the top of the list. Again, clicking any material produces the same behaviour as clicking the material in the indexes.
To the best of our knowledge, ERGO 2008 is problem free and relies strictly on the information contained in the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG2008) and may or may not contain officially published errata, depending on the version that was downloaded. However, given the nature of computer hardware and software, it is not intended to replace the Guidebook.
During emergency situations, information provided by ERGO, such as the individual emergency response Guides, initial isolation and protective action distances, TIH gases generated from contact with water, etc., should be verified to insure that it corresponds to the ERG2008.
For More Information: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/canutec/guide-ergo-221.htm