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HazMat Reference and Emergency Response Guides: CoolTechStuff

Larry Mortimer, AIA

As you may guess from the topic of this article, I just finished the chapter’s Post-Disaster SAP Training course.  Living and working in an industrial area of the city I’ve always been concerned about what kinds of nasty things are in, or passing through, my neighborhood and the SAP Training course renewed my concerns.  Here are a couple of mobile device apps that will give you information on questionable materials that you need to stay safe.

I found two apps that seem to do a good job identifying hazardous materials.  ERG 2016 by National Library of Medicine, and the HazMat Reference and Emergency Response Guide by ThatsMyStapler Inc. (for all of you fans of the movie Office Space).

What do they cost: ERG 2016 is free, and the HazMat Reference and Emergency Response Guide is $4.99.

ERG 2016:  There is both an iOS and an Android version of ERG 2016.  ERG 2016 contains an indexed list of dangerous goods, their associated ID numbers, the general hazards they pose and recommended safety precautions.  The home screen for this app opens with a choice to search by name or placard image, or to browse the guide section or reference materials. The guide section lists information on types of material, including; potential health, fire or explosion hazards, and recommended emergency responses, protective clothing, evacuation and first aid.  The reference section includes: “How to use this App,” “Hazard Classification,” “Protective Distance,” “Safety Precautions,” and “About/Contact.”

 

HazMat Reference and Emergency Response Guide:  The HazMat Reference and Emergency Response Guide is only available for the iOS platform. This app opens to an alphabetical list by name of hazardous materials, showing the proper placard, hazard class, isolation distances, synonyms/trade names, and a physical description for each. From the home page you can also go directly to the sections on guides, history of your inquiries and references.

The guide section is exactly the same as that in ERG 2016.  The reference section includes emergency phone numbers, other resources, and suggested actions.

Conclusion: Although both apps provide similar information, the HazMat Reference and Emergency Response Guide format is easier to use, and it provides synonyms/trade names, and a physical description that ERG 2016 does not.  My choice would be the HazMat Reference and Emergency Response Guide, but either app will do the job.

These apps both provide a quick reference to identify hazardous materials and guidance regarding the dangers they present. Hopefully you will never need the information these apps provide, but if you do, you will need it immediately.  Having one of these apps in your kit of tools is cheap insurance.

Download at:  Apple Store, or Google Play