Equipment & Gear, Operations

Refresher for Operating Safely in Hazardous Environments

Refresher for Operating Safely in Hazardous EnvironmentsÜ is a wellcrafted, broad review of the laws, rules and standards applicable to hazardous environment operations. According to NFPA 472 (Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction [WMD] Incidents) and 473 (Standard for Competencies for EMS Personnel Responding to Hazardous Materials/WMD Incidents), EMS personnel are expected to have the necessary education, training, competencies and associated PPE to perform at the operations level as an integral component of the emergency response to hazmat incidents.

This book isn’t intended as a training guide on the NFPA 472/473 standards, but it provides a framework for agency safety. It would be a helpful resource as your organization develops internal agency documents and training curricula. It’s also an excellent source for assessing internal hazardous environments and understanding key regulatory considerations.

One of the most useful sections is Chapter 7: “Medical Monitoring and Occupational Health.” This chapter is filled with information on how to determine the level of routine physical evaluation required for personnel depending on the roles they’re assigned within the local jurisdiction’s hazardous incidents response program. It isn’t all the direction your agency will need, but it’s a good start.

Want to see a table that shows the impact of wind on exposed flesh and body temperature? Or learn the percentage of oxygen in inspired air that constitutes an immediate danger to life and health (IDLH) threat? Or figure out how to tie a bowline knot? These questions are all answered, and some are even accompanied with photos.

This book would be a good reference tool in your agency’s library and should definitely be on your safety coordinator’s bookshelf.