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Hazardous Materials Section Five: Scene Safety, PPE and Scene Control

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1 Hazardous Materials Section Five: Scene Safety, PPE and Scene Control
Analyze Plan Implement Evaluate Objectives: Describe hazardous materials personal protective equipment. Identify the purpose, advantages, and limitations of: Structural firefighting protective clothing, Chemical-protective clothing High temperature-protective clothing, Liquid splash-protective clothing, Vapor-protective clothing. Discuss respiratory protection in a hazardous material incident. Describe the levels of hazardous materials personal protective equipment. Identify skin-contact hazards encountered at hazardous materials incidents. Describe the safety precautions to be observed, including those for heat and cold stress, when approaching and working at hazardous materials incidents. Describe the physical capabilities required and limitations of personnel working in personal protective equipment. Describe techniques used to isolate hazard areas and deny entry. Describe the importance of the buddy system and back-up personnel Section Five

2 Scene Safety Scene control, site management, and personnel accountability are critical The course of a hazardous material incident is often determined in the first five to fifteen minutes ? The proper use of PPE and proper scene control is important at all emergencies. At a hazardous materials incident, however, PPE, scene control, site management, and personnel accountability are critical issues that have a direct bearing on the life safety of all responders charged. The safe handling of hazardous materials incident is often determined in the first 5 to 15 minutes, based on the actions of the fire fighters who are the initial responders. Section Five

3 Exposure Limits Threshold Limit Value/Short-Term Exposure Limit (TLV-STEL) Threshold Limit Value/Time Weighted Average (TLV-TWA) Threshold Limit Value/Ceiling (TLV-C) Threshold Limit Value/Skin (TLV-S) Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) The damage that a hazardous material will inflict on a human depends on the material’s threshold limit value (TLV®). The point at which the material begins to affect a person. May be defined in several ways. The various definitions indicate the levels of protection that are required. Threshold Limit Value (TLV®) Definition: Threshold Limit Values (TLV's®) are guidelines (not standards) prepared by the American Conference of Governmental industrial Hygienists, Inc (ACGIH) to assist industrial hygienists in making decisions regarding safe levels of exposure to various hazards found in the workplace. A TLV® reflects the level of exposure that the typical worker can experience without an unreasonable risk of disease or injury. TLVs® are not quantitative estimates of risk at different exposure levels or by different routes of exposure. Section Five

4 TLV-STEL Maximum concentration a person can be exposed to in 15-minute intervals, up to four times a day without damage Minimum one hour rest between exposures Lower the TLV-STEL, the more toxic the substance Maximum concentration that a person can be exposed to in 15- minute intervals, up to four times a day, without experiencing chronic or irreversible tissue damage. Section Five

5 TLV/TWA Maximum concentration a person could be exposed to 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week with no ill effects The lower the TLV-TWA, the more toxic the substance Section Five

6 TLV-C (Ceiling) Maximum concentration a worker should not be exposed to, even for an instant The lower the TLV-C, the more toxic the substance Section Five

7 TLV-Skin Possible and significant exposure by direct or airborne contact Appropriate measures need to be taken so TLV/TWA is not exceeded Indicates that direct or airborne contact could result in a possible and significant exposure by absorption through the skin, mucous membranes, and eyes. This designation is intended to suggest that appropriate measures be taken to minimize skin absorption so that the TLV/TWA is not exceeded Section Five

8 PEL/REL Maximum, time-weighted concentration to which 95% of healthy adults can be exposed over a 40-hour workweek without damage PEL set by OSHA (enforceable by Law) REL set by NIOSH (does not have the force of Law) Also called the REL (Recommended Exposure Limit) Comparable to the TLV-TWA Section Five

9 IDLH An atmospheric concentration of any toxic, corrosive, or asphyxiant that poses an immediate threat to life or could cause irreversible or delayed adverse health effects The lower the number the higher the toxicity Below IDLH levels, most healthy individuals could escape the atmosphere without respiratory protection without irreversible damage to their health. Section Five

10 IDLH Three types of IDLH atmospheres:
Toxic Flammable Oxygen-deficient (<19.5%) IDLH atmospheres require the use of SCBA or equivalent protection Individuals exposed to atmosphere concentrations at or above IDLH levels must use positive pressure SCBA or equivalent respiratory protection. Section Five

11 Determining Atmospheric Safety
Atmospheric monitoring requires specific training and equipment Three types of atmospheres at a hazardous materials incident: Safe Unsafe Dangerous Measuring atmospheric concentrations of chemicals requires specific training and equipment. Exposure guidelines are intended to minimize the possibility that responders and the public will be exposed to hazardous materials or atmospheres that will lead to harm. Section Five

12 Hazard Levels Safe atmosphere Unsafe atmosphere Dangerous atmosphere
No harmful hazardous materials effects Unsafe atmosphere Exposure will probably cause injury Dangerous atmosphere Serious, irreversible injury or death may occur Safe atmosphere: No hazardous materials effects exist; no specialized PPE is needed. Unsafe atmosphere: A hazardous material is present and creates an unsafe condition or atmosphere; exposure could result in acute or chronic injury. Dangerous atmosphere: Exposure to the atmosphere will result in serious, irreversible injury, or death. Section Five

13 Personal Protective Equipment
PPE is the clothing and protection that provides shielding or insulation from chemical, physical, and thermal hazards Firefighter’s PPE should meet NPFA and OSHA Standards Must be properly maintained and used Without the proper protective clothing and respiratory protection, fire fighters may be injured. Adequate PPE should protect the fire fighter’s respiratory system, as well as the skin, eyes, face, hands, feet, head, body, and hearing. When product-specific chemical suits are unavailable, fire fighters must know how much and what kind of protection their regular firefighting clothing provides. Standard structural firefighting gear may be suitable for support operations at many hazardous materials incidents, but personnel who are involved in decontamination activities may require chemical-protective clothing because of the possibility of cross-contamination issues. Structural firefighting clothing is not gas tight and will not prevent gases or vapors from reaching the skin. Therefore, gases such as ammonia or chlorine will pass through clothing materials. Moreover, many liquids produce vapors, depending on how volatile the chemicals are and the temperature to which they are exposed. The majority of these vapors will also reach the fire fighter’s skin if turnout clothing is worn. It is important to determine if the chemicals involved are skin toxic. If any reference reports that significant health effects can occur through skin absorption, then the department can assume that unacceptable exposure will occur using turnout clothing. Most of the time, the responding units do not know the identity or concentration of hazardous substances they encounter. If there is any doubt, the department must assume that a response in turnout clothing places its members in danger unless otherwise demonstrated. The general SOP is to call the available HazMat team, isolate the area, and put together a response based on better information as it becomes available. Structural firefighting protective clothing does provide limited protection against chemicals, but this protection is subject to very specific considerations as described above. The direction of protective clothing development in requirements set by NFPA 1971 has taken into account the need for some hazardous material protection in many fireground emergencies, but turnout clothing will only provide this protection for some substances, under some circumstances. Departments that are able to recognize the limitations in turnout gear are in better position to ensure the health and safety of their members. Section Five

14 PPE Selection PPE is selected based on the specific properties of the products involved The IC should approve the level of PPE to be used on an incident Firefighters should not use PPE they have not been trained to use Selecting the appropriate PPE for a hazardous materials incident is an important, even potentially life-saving decision. The incident commander has the ultimate authority and responsibility to approve the level of PPE required for a given activity. Firefighters should operate only at the incident level that matches their knowledge, training, and equipment. Section Five

15 Types of PPE Street clothing and work uniforms
Structural firefighting protective clothing High-temperature protective clothing Chemical protective clothing and equipment Section Five

16 Specific PPE Street clothing and work uniforms
Offers least amount of protection from hazardous materials Structural firefighting protective clothing Offers no chemical protection Has some abrasion resistance Street clothing and work uniforms: May prevent a non-caustic powder from coming into direct contact with the skin. A one-piece flame-resistant or lightly flame- resistant coverall may enhance protection slightly. Structural firefighting protective clothing: Prevents direct skin contact. Easily absorbs materials, breaks down when exposed to chemicals, and does not provide protection from harmful gases, vapors, liquid, or dusts that may be encountered. Section Five

17 Specific PPE High-temperature protective equipment:
Offers protection from high temperatures only (short exposure) No chemical protection Proximity/entry Protects the wearer during short-term exposures to high temperatures. It allows the properly trained fire fighter to work in extreme fire conditions but is not designed to protect the fire fighter from hazardous materials. Proximity suit Fire Entry Suit Section Five

18 Specific PPE Chemical Protective Clothing
Designed to prevent chemicals from coming in contact with the body May have varying degrees of resistance Chemical-resistant materials: Designed to inhibit or resist the passage of chemicals into and through the material by penetration, permeation, degradation Section Five

19 Chemical Protective Clothing
No single material provides protection from all chemicals Operations level trained personnel should not be operating in encapsulated suits No single material provides protection from all chemicals Material must be compatible with the chemical substances Ensembles must be used according to manufacturer’s instructions Operations level trained personnel should not be operating in encapsulated suits Operational-level personnel can wear some non-encapsulated chemical-protective clothing while providing support for those entering the hazardous materials area, however they need to be trained in its use. Section Five

20 Penetration Movement of the chemical through closures
Liquids/vapors most likely to penetrate Some solids (i.e. asbestos) may penetrate also The flow or movement of a hazardous chemical through closures, seams, porous materials, pinholes, or other imperfections. Section Five

21 Permeation Process by which the chemical moves through the material on a molecular level. Occurs through the material itself rather than through openings in the material. Section Five

22 Degradation Physical destruction/decomposition of material
Visible signs such as: charring/shrinking/ swelling/color change/ dissolution are evidence of degradation The physical destruction or decomposition of a clothing material owing to chemical exposure, general use, or ambient conditions (e.g., sunlight). Materials can also be tested for weight changes, loss of fabric tensile strength, and other properties to measure degradation. Section Five

23 Garment Construction Single-piece Multi-piece
Material used in construction Butyl rubber, Tyvek®, Saranex, PVC, Viton Single-piece Completely encloses wearer Known as an encapsulated suit or acid suit Multi-piece Works with the wearer’s respiratory protection, an attached or detachable hood, gloves, and boots Material used in construction Butyl rubber, Tyvek®, Saranex, PVC, Viton Section Five

24 Liquid Splash-Protective Clothing
Protects skin and eyes Does not protect against gases or vapors Should not be used for incidents involving liquids that emit vapors Section Five

25 Vapor-Protective Clothing
Must be used when hazardous vapors are present Traps heat and perspiration Must be used in conjunction with respiratory protection Section Five

26 Respiratory Protection Devices
Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) Supplied air respirator (SAR) Air-purifying respirator (APR) Section Five

27 SCBA Prevents exposure through inhalation or ingestion
Should be mandatory for fire service personnel Firefighters must know the limitations of SCBA Section Five

28 Supplied Air Respirator (SAR)
User connected to external air source Useful during extended operations Hoseline may restrict movement User is connected to an external air source by a hoseline that connects to the facepiece Useful during extended operations Decontamination Clean-up Hoseline may restrict movement Length limited by manufacturer/OSHA Section Five

29 Air Purifying Respirators (APRs)
Filter particulates and contaminants from the air Should only be used when: Type and amount of contaminants are known Atmosphere is not oxygen-deficient Should be worn only in atmospheres where the type and quantity of contaminants are known and where there is sufficient oxygen for breathing. APRs do not have a separate source of air. Ambient atmosphere must contain a minimum of 19.5% oxygen. Continuous atmospheric monitoring is essential for safety. Section Five

30 APRs Limitations: Filtering cartridges are contaminant-specific
Atmosphere must be continuously monitored Section Five

31 Chemical Protective Clothing Level A
Fully encapsulating suit Highest level of protection Effective against vapors, gases, mists, dusts Requires SCBA or SAR Heavy, encapsulating suit that envelops both wearer and SCBA. Recommended PPE includes: SCBA or SAR Fully encapsulating chemical-resistant suit Inner chemical-resistant gloves Chemical-resistant safety boots/shoes Two-way radio Optional PPE includes: Coveralls Long cotton underwear Hard hat Disposable gloves and boot covers Section Five

32 Chemical Protective Clothing Level B
Consists of chemical-protective clothing, boots, gloves, and SCBA Used when high respiratory protection but less skin protection required Wrists and ankles must be properly sealed to prevent splashed liquids from contacting the skin. Recommended PPE includes: SCBA or SAR Chemical-resistant clothing Inner and outer chemical-resistant gloves Chemical-resistant safety boots/shoes Hard hat Two-way radio Optional PPE includes: Coveralls Long cotton underwear Disposable gloves and boot covers Type of gloves and boots worn depends on the chemical involved Section Five

33 Chemical Protective Clothing Level C
Standard work clothing plus chemical-protective clothing Appropriate when: Type of airborne substance is known Concentration is measured Criteria for using an APR is met Skin or eye exposure is unlikely Can be provided with a filter or cartridge mask or an APR Head protection and goggles are also required Recommended PPE includes: Full-face APR Chemical-resistant clothing Inner and outer chemical-resistant gloves Chemical-resistant safety boots/shoes Two-way radio Hard hat Optional PPE includes: Coveralls Long cotton underwear Disposable gloves and boot covers Section Five

34 Chemical Protective Clothing Level D
Lowest level of protection Used when: Atmosphere contains no known hazard Work functions preclude splashes, immersion, or potential for inhalation Recommended PPE includes: Coveralls Safety boots/shoes Safety glasses or chemical-splash goggles Hard hat Optional PPE includes: Gloves Face shield Escape mask Should be used for nuisance contamination only Section Five

35 Skin Contact Hazards Toxicity, flammability, and reactivity
Inadequately protected body Assume the worst and leave the largest possible safety margin Principal dangers of hazardous materials are toxicity, flammability, and reactivity Hazardous materials can harm the inadequately protected body Assume the worst and leave the largest possible safety margin Section Five

36 Skin Contact Hazards Skin can absorb harmful toxins without any sensation to the skin itself Some substances are lethal if only a few drops contact the skin Do not rely on pain or irritation as a warning of absorption Section Five

37 Skin Contact Hazards Skin absorption is enhanced by cuts, abrasions, heat, and moisture Absorption rate depends on body part Chemicals absorbed through the skin on the scalp much faster than through the forearm Eyes have one of the fastest means of exposure Section Five

38 Skin Contact Hazards Corrosives do not have to be absorbed to do damage-contact is sufficient Acids Have affinity for moisture Can burn respiratory tract Alkalis Cause deep, destructive burns Turns tissue to soapy liquid Acid injuries create a clot-like barrier that blocks deep skin penetration of the chemical. Alkali burns are often much deeper and more destructive than acid burns. Bases burrow down into the skin layers. Section Five

39 Safety Precautions Standard safety precautions for firefighting apply to hazardous materials incidents Proper PPE & respiratory protection In addition, special attention must be paid to temperature and stress Section Five

40 Excessive Heat Disorders
Dehydration Heat stress Heat exhaustion Heat stroke Firefighters operating in protective clothing should be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat related disorders Section Five

41 Dehydration Pre-hydrate with 8 to 16 oz. of water before donning PPE
Rehydrate with 16 oz. of water for each SCBA tank used Leads to heat cramps & heat stress if not treated Section Five

42 Heat Exhaustion Signs & symptoms: Emergency action:
Rapid shallow breathing Weak pulse Clammy skin Emergency action: Remove victim from the source of heat Rehydrate Provide cooling A mild form of shock that occurs when the circulatory system begins to fail because the body is unable to dissipate excessive heat and becomes overheated. The body’s core temperature rises causing weakness and profuse sweating. The fire fighter may become weak or dizzy and have episodes of blurred vision. Other signs and symptoms: Rapid, shallow breathing Weak pulse Cold, clammy skin Loss of consciousness Emergency action: Remove the victim from the source of the heat Rehydrate with electrolyte solutions Kept cool Section Five

43 Heat Stroke Signs and symptoms include:
Reduction or cessation of sweating Body temperature at or above 105ºF Rapid pulse A severe and potentially fatal condition resulting from the total failure of the body’s temperature-regulation capacity. Caused by exposure to the sun or high temperatures. Section Five

44 Heat Stroke This is a true medical emergency requiring immediate transport to a medical facility More signs and symptoms: Hot skin Headache Confusion Unconsciousness Section Five

45 Cooling Technologies Passive systems Forced air cooling systems
Air, ice, or water cooled vests Forced air cooling systems Limit mobility Fluid chilled systems Phase change cooling technology Pre-cooled vest wicks perspiration away from body Forced air-cooling systems Operate by forcing pre-chilled air through a system of hoses worn close to the body. Typically these systems are lightweight and provide long-term cooling benefits. Mobility is limited because the hose is attached to an external fixed compressor. Fluid-chilled systems Operate by pumping ice-chilled liquids from a reservoir through a series of tubes held within a vest-like garment. Mobility may be limited with some varieties of this system as the pump may be located away from the garment. Some units have a battery-operated unit worn on the hip, but the additional weight may increase the workload, which generates more heat, thereby defeating the purpose of the cooling vest. Passive systems (ice or gel packed vests) Commonly used due to low cost Designed to be worn around the torso Bulkier and heavier and may cause discomfort The cold temperature near the skin may actually fool the body into thinking it is cold instead of hot, thereby retaining more heat. Phase change cooling technology Similar to passive systems Chilled to 60 °F Fabric of the vest is designed to wick perspiration away from the body. Section Five

46 Cold-Temperature Exposures
Materials related Liquefied gases and cryogenic materials expose firefighters to the same low-temperature hazards as those created by cold-weather environments Weather related Temperature and wind speed Still air is a poor conductor Exposure to severe cold for even a short period may cause severe injury to body surfaces, particularly to the ears, nose, hands, and feet. Two factors in particular influence the development of cold-related injuries: temperature and wind speed. When low temperatures are combined with faster winds, wind chill occurs. Section Five

47 Cold-Temperature Exposures
Despite temperature, firefighters will sweat May lead to hypothermia Prevention: Wear appropriate, layered clothing Keep layers next to skin dry Warm shelters should be available Wet clothing extracts heat from the body up to 240 times faster than dry clothing Section Five

48 Response Safety Procedures
Isolate and deny entry Try to identify products Follow the DOT-ERG Follow SOPs Eliminate possible ignition sources These basic protective actions should be taken immediately by first responders. First responders can gather necessary scene information and identify the materials involved. Electrical devices used in the immediate area of the hazard should be certified as safe by recognized organizations. Some flammable vapors are heavier than air and, therefore, may travel along the ground to an ignition source. The first step in gaining control of a hazardous materials incident is to isolate the problem and keep people away from it. The IC cannot begin operations until the hazard area is identified and the perimeter is secured. Fire fighters can help to isolate the area by stretching banner tape across roads to divert traffic away from a spill and by coordinating their efforts with those of police, EMS, and other agencies. Section Five

49 Control Zones Designated areas at a hazardous materials incident based upon safety and the degree of hazard Types: Hot zone Warm zone Cold zone Section Five

50 Hot Zone Area immediately around the incident site
Contains personnel and equipment needed to control the release Is contaminated zone Access is limited Entries and exits are logged Entered by technicians/specialists All personnel and equipment in this zone must be decontaminated when they leave the area. Access into the hot zone must be limited to only those persons necessary to control the incident. Individuals must log in at the access control point, recording their entry and exit times. Only individuals trained to the hazardous materials technician level should be permitted in the hot zone. Section Five

51 Warm Zone Staging area for entering and leaving the hot zone
Contains an access corridor and a decontamination corridor Personnel must be in appropriate PPE A.k.a. the contamination reduction zone Only essential personnel allowed. Personnel must be in appropriate PPE generally same or one level below what is used in the hot zone Personnel trained to the operations level can work with moderate supervision in the warm zone. This zone does not become the warm zone until someone goes into the hot zone; the decon corridor may be able to be set up in a Level D ensemble. Section Five

52 Cold Zone Safe area where special protective clothing is not needed
Restricted area Operations include: Personnel staging Command post Medical support area There should also be an isolation area around the incident. In Section 8 we will talk about an inner and outer perimeter, which is specific to an explsoive/WMD event. A separate media area should also be established outside this perimeter and the cold zone. Section Five

53 Isolation Techniques Approach from uphill Resist the urge to rush in
Establish a perimeter Ensure perimeter control devices do not impede rapid evacuation Do not attempt to help others until the situation has been assessed; you could become a victim, too. Only those directly involved in emergency response operations should be permitted in the area, and even they must wait until control has been established and the situation assessed. There are several ways to isolate the hazard and create the control zone. The first step that should be taken is to identify the area verbally over the radio. Cordon off the area using standard traffic cones, police, or fire-line barrier tape to control access. If the incident takes place inside a structure, the best place to control access is at the normal points of entry. Once the doors are secured, appropriately trained emergency response crews can begin to isolate areas above and below the hazard The same concept applies to outdoor incidents. Secure the entry points and the area around the hazard. Police officers should assist fire fighters in this operation by diverting traffic at a safe distance outside the hazard area. They should block off streets, close intersections, or use their vehicles to redirect traffic. During a long-term incident, the highway department can set up traffic barriers Crowd-control devices can also be used to identify the hazard zones and restrict access Use PD assets to assist if possible. Section Five

54 Buddy System and Backup Personnel*
Ensure safety of emergency crews Decontamination team in place before anyone enters the hot zone No one should enter the hot zone alone Always remain within sight, sound, or touch of each other The PASS device and the use of personal accountability and buddy systems are essential for fire fighter safety. Backup personnel are used to ensure the safety of emergency crews. They stand by at the scene, ready to remove personnel who are working in the hot zone if an emergency occurs. All personnel must be fully briefed before they approach the hazard area or enter the hot zone. The decontamination team must be in place before anyone enters the hot zone. No one should enter the hot zone alone; at least two members should suit up and enter the hot zone together. At least two additional team members should suit up and stand by to assist those who entered first. Team members should always remain within sight, sound, or touch of each other. Electronic communication devices sometimes fail. The individual needing rescue may not be physically able to summon assistance. Radios cannot replace visual or voice contact or be the only way to contact an individual working in the hot zone. “ (q)(3)(vi) Back-up personnel shall be standing by with equipment ready to provide assistance or rescue. Qualified basic life support personnel, as a minimum, shall also be standing by with medical equipment and transportation capability.” *Only for those trained above the Operations Level; i.e., Haz-Mat Teams Section Five

55 Summary PPE is product-specific
No such thing as generic chemical-protective suit PPE has limitations; firefighters must know them Four recognized levels of protective clothing Level A provides the most protection Level D provides almost no protection Section Five

56 Summary Resist the urge to rush in
Only firefighters trained to the technician or specialist levels enter the hot zone Use of respiratory protection is essential Only firefighters trained to the technician or specialist levels should enter the hot zone Use of respiratory protection is essential at most hazardous materials incidents Section Five

57 Section Five

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