Home Ask The Haz Mat Guys ATHMG005 – Ask the Haz Mat Guys, Episode V

ATHMG005 – Ask the Haz Mat Guys, Episode V


In this episode, we answer the following questions:

  • How do we know when we need to ground and bond?
  • Do I need to wear a PASS alarm inside my Level A?
  • What are the differences between American and Mexican placards and labels?
  • Can I use knee pads on my Level A suit?

Complete Show Notes

00:45 Question #1 – How Do We Know When We Need to Ground and Bond?

  • Questions to consider:
    • What’s the ambient temperature?
    • Do we have a foam line stretched and ready?
    • Do we have manpower with the proper training?
    • Do we have proper PPE and equipment?
    • Do we have the right amount of containment?
    • Do we really need to move the substance?
    • What’s the quantity?
    • Can we use pads?
    • Where’s the rig in relation to openings on the street (like manholes and storm drains)?
    • Where’s the leak specifically coming from?
    • Where’s the rig specifically located?
    • Which fuel are you dealing with?
  • Always be aware of temperature, humidity, and dew point – these factors can have a major effect on whether you need to ground and bond
  • Ultimately, though, you have to follow your department’s SOPs

3:45 Question #2 – Do I Need to Wear a PASS Alarm Inside My Level A?

  • Standard requiring you to wear a PASS alarm within your structural gear comes from the fire grounds
  • Most firefighters going on-scene wear PASS alarms due to the standard their SCBA falls under
  • However, there’s a whole group of responders in industry who aren’t required to wear them because their SCBA falls under a different standard
  • If you pull the PASS alarm out, it doesn’t necessarily mean the SCBA defaults to a different standard – just means that specific pack doesn’t fall under an NFPA standard
  • From an NFPA point of view, a mask with a disabled PASS alarm isn’t really covered by any standards
  • Tampering with an SCBA can make you civilly or criminally liable if somebody gets hurt

8:35 Question #3 – What Are the Differences Between American & Mexican Placards and Labeling?

  • Mexico doesn’t use the “Dangerous” placard or label on their transports as per NOM-004 (their regulations
  • Products are listed in both Spanish and English on packing slips, even though regulations say the proper shipping name has to be in Spanish
  • They also can’t use the hot placard to identify something that’s hot – same applies in Canada
  • Mexico also doesn’t have to use a marine pollutant marking
  • Placarding is required for sewer products, but not for ORM-Ds
  • They also don’t distinguish between flammable and combustible liquids

10:15 Question #4 – Can I Use Knee Pads on My Level A Suit?

  • Any time you add something to your ensemble, you pretty much void the standard if it hasn’t been approved for use with that product
  • Keep in mind that knee pads can cause the material to wear out via friction since you’re walking around a lot – this creates an area where chemicals can penetrate
  • Mike recommends kneeling on acid or oil pads – provides comfort without violating the standard or damaging your Level A
  • You should also be careful about wearing knee pads inside your Level A since the hard material on the knee pads can abrade the suit when it’s pushed against the ground

Have a question? Send an email to feedback@thehazmatguys.com or leave a message on our Haz Mat Guys comment hotline: 843-628-1484

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