Home Podcasts THMG044 – APIE, Part II

THMG044 – APIE, Part II


In episode two of a five-part series, Mike and Bob continue to discuss APIE and how it applies to hazmat.

Complete Show Notes

1:25 Transportation Size-Ups

  • What kind of vehicle is involved? Even knowing the type can change how we gather information
  • The less information we know, the more cautious we have to be
  • Finding papers
    • Trucks – shipping papers and bill of lading are in the cab with the driver (usually in the door pocket)
    • Intermodals – shipping papers usually are on the vertical beam in one of the frame pipes
    • Trains – constant or waybills are often found with the conductor or engineer
    • Ships – dangerous cargo manifest is often found with the captain on the bridge
    • Airplane – airbill can be found with the pilot (we don’t see this too frequently)
  • Look at the size of the vehicle, its condition, and any placards you might see
  • If you’re at an industrial or commercial site, look for markings

9:50 Pre-Planning and Preparation

  • This is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the scene and get to know the people there
  • As we assess the situation, we should be thinking about the smoke condition and endothermic reaction
  • Similarly, be aware of collapse that can disrupt the structure of whatever you’re working with
  • As you get closer, take a better look at the container or building, including bulk storage you can see from the road
  • Check out labels, shipping papers, and SDS papers – these documents can provide the detailed information you need to make informed decisions

13:30 Hazmat Drill Nugget from Hazsim Training Systems

  • You can practice building underflow and overflow dams at the firehouse
  • Get some cooking oil and water and try to maintain the oil level while trying to drain out the water – it’s more difficult than you might think!

15:20 Assessing Chemical-Physical Properties On-Site

  • The chemical and physical properties of the substances we encounter influence how we operate
  • Identify the state of matter – either solid, liquid, or gas
  • State of matter is important because it impacts cleanup, PPE, evacuation, metering, and more
  • Toxicity
    • Go to NIOSH and look up the IDLH of the substance
    • Some of these chemicals are dangerous to people, while others aren’t
    • Other measurements to take into account include
      • TWA (time weighted average) – 40-hour work week average exposure
      • PEL (permissible exposure limit) – the maximum you can be exposed to
      • STEL – the maximum you can be exposed to for 15 minutes
    • All of these factors can play a factor in determining how toxic something is
    • Helps give us a better overall view of the situation and makes it easier to set de-escalation goals
  • Vapor pressure
    • Refers to how much a liquid wants to give off vapor and get out
    • The more vapor escapes into the atmosphere, the more dangerous a situation can be
    • Vapor and gas density (or a liquid) tells us where this substance goes in relation to somewhere else (tells us whether it will go up or down)
    • Affects PPE, metering, mitigation, etc.
  • pH
    • Also plays a role in helping us assess and act on-site
  • Flammability
    • Always determine whether something can burn
    • UEL vs. LEL tells us whether something is flammable
    • Flash point – tells us how dangerous the substance is to us right now
    • Auto ignition refers to spontaneous combustion, which can be very dangerous
  • Solubility
    • This refers to how well something dissolves in water
    • Knowing the solubility of what you’re dealing with helps with decontamination
    • We also need to be concerned with runoff and vapor dispersion
  • Instability
    • Oxidizers – these make things worse and cause reactions
    • Polymerization – expansion of monomers to polymers; they increase in size and give off heat
  • Radioactivity
    • Radioactive substances really slow us down
    • Always practice time, distance, and shielding
    • Respiratory protection is key when handling airborne sources

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