Coffee Break Training: Petroleum Crude Oil: Hazard Assessment and Risk Evaluation   [open pdf - 132KB]

"The hazard assessment and risk evaluation process is a critical step to identify the level of danger posed by an incident involving product(s), containers and their behavior, which is generally related to their physical and chemical properties. It is one of the foundations for the risk-based response process outlined in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 472, 'Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents.' Risk-based decision-making is a systematic process by which responders analyze a problem involving a hazmat incident, assess the hazards, evaluate the risks, and determine appropriate response actions based on the facts, science and circumstances of the incident. The risk-based response model looks at the threat, vulnerabilities, consequences and likelihood of occurrence when making a risk-based decision. Risks refer to the probability of suffering harm or loss; they are different at each incident and need to be evaluated by the Incident Commander. The use of the risk-based response model will lead to a safer and more effective response to a crude oil rail transportation incident. […] Evaluate the risks of personnel intervening directly in the incident. Consider the limitations of the people involved and the ability to have adequate resources available on-site (e.g., sufficient firefighting foam concentrate, water supplies, appliances, equipment, trained personnel and technical expertise) and the ability to sustain operations for extended periods of time (hours or days). If your agency is not fully prepared and capable in terms of resources, equipment and properly trained personnel to intervene, defensive or nonintervention strategies will likely be the preferred strategic option."

Report Number:
Coffee Break Training - Hazardous Materials Series No. HM-2014-6
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/
Media Type:
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