Top Consequences 2005-2009: Hazardous Materials by Commodities & Failure Modes [Issue 2, March 28, 2011]   [open pdf - 995KB]

"This paper outlines the hazardous materials (hazmat) in transport that have been responsible for most of the serious consequences in terms of deaths and major injuries during the years 2005-2009. It also indentifies modes and the corresponding transportation phases that have resulted in the most high-impact casualties during this period. An PHMSA [Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration] analyzes alternatives to increase the safety of hazmat transportation, the agency will consider several findings from this report: 1) Some hazardous materials have high consequences due to their high levels of transport (i.e. high exposure) while in other cases it is the sheer volatility or danger of the substance that leads to significant consequences despite modest exposure; 2) Most of the deaths and injuries due to hazmat fatalities can be linked to a small sub-section of all hazardous materials; 3) Nearly all of the hazmat fatalities between 2005 and 2009 occurred during either rail or highway transport. (The exception was a single multi-fatality waterborne incident.) The vast majority of major injuries (85%) were also associated with these two modes; and 4) Rollover and Derailment while in transit are the principal [sic] failure causes recorded (and are specific to road and rail transportation, respectively), followed by Human Error across phases of transportation."

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United States. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration: http://phmsa.dot.gov/
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