Emergency Response/Contingency Plan
Response to Specific Emergencies
Fire or Explosion.
In the event of a fire, attempts will be made to extinguish it with
a Class A/B/C multipurpose fire extinguisher, if safe to do so. A fire
extinguisher will be maintained in each vehicle used. If the fire appears
to be growing out of control, the following steps will be taken.
- Signal the warning alarm.
- Personnel shall be immediately evacuated to a safe distance away
from the fire.
- Verify all team members are present.
- Notify the fire department and APHIS personnel.
- Remove vehicles if necessary and if safely possible.
- Remove flammable field equipment if safely possible.
- Await fire-fighting forces.
In the case of APHIS personnel being present at the occurrence of a
dust explosion, it is of paramount importance that they vacate the area.
Dust explosions are prone to secondary and tertiary explosions. The initial
explosion causes additional dust to be in the air, which is then ignited.
APHIS personnel will evacuate, notify their Supervisors and await further
guidance from their Supervisor, The Operations Section chief or the Command
Hazardous Materials Release.
If a Hazardous Material incident occurs from a source not related to
APHIS activity, APHIS personnel will follow the guidance of the outside
Emergency Response organization.
In the event a hazardous materials release occurs during field activities,
attempts will be made to control, divert, absorb, neutralize, or secure
the source if direct contact or inhalation hazards are not present. If
direct contact or inhalation hazards are present, control measures will
not be attempted unless PPE is available that will prevent personnel
exposure. All hazardous material releases will be immediately reported
to the Operations Section Chief and the Incident Commander.
If a hazardous or potentially dangerous situation is suspected at the
affected area based on background information or previous visits, the
Incident Commander will notify local authorities. The following information
will be helpful during a notification:
- Chemical/oil name or U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
identification (ID) number.
- Chemical/oil hazard class.
- Cause of release.
- Quantity/concentration of the release.
- Potential for fire.
- Potential for release evaluation (an estimate of the effect of
a chemical release to the surrounding area).
- Injuries caused by release.
- Actions taken.
The Incident Safety Officer will be notified in conjunction with local
authorities if they were not previously notified. The Incident Commander
or designee will dictate the response.
In the event of an injury, the victim will be stabilized and provided
first aid in a safe area, free of contaminants, if it is safe for the
rescuer to do so. If an injury involves a potential trauma to the spinal
cord, the victim will remain where injured, if safely possible, and be
moved by trained emergency medical technicians only. Minor injuries,
such as small lacerations, cuts, and strains, will be initially treated
by the first-aid qualified member of the field team. Ambulance and hospital
support will be provided for all major injuries, such as head wounds,
broken bones, and deep lacerations.
All injuries, no matter how minor, are to be reported to the employee’s
Supervisor. In the instance that APHIS personnel are transported for
care, the Supervisor is to notify their Section Chief and the Safety
Officer (who will in turn notify the Incident Commander).
If decontamination is required and it will not interfere with essential
treatment, the following will be performed:
- Escort victim to the decontamination equipment.
- If the victim is wearing protective clothing and equipment, wash,
rinse, and remove or cut the material(s) off.
- Wash exposed body areas with potable water flush for 10 minutes
or disinfectant solution (suitable for use with human skin.
- Cover victim with a blanket or, if the injury is not serious,
dress victim in clean clothing.
- Transport victim to hospital if necessary or request ambulance
support, if needed.
If decontamination cannot be performed, the following will be completed:
- Wrap the victim in blankets, plastic, or rubber to reduce contamination
of other personnel.
- Alert emergency and medical personnel to potential contamination;
instruct them in specific decontamination procedures, if necessary.
- Send along personnel familiar with the incident.
Heat and Cold Stress Illnesses.
All workers are to be alert to the possibility and symptoms of heat
stress. Should the worker experience extreme fatigue, cramps, dizziness,
headache, nausea, profuse sweating, or pale, clammy skin, the worker
will be instructed by the Field Team Leader to take a break and rest
in a shaded area. Drinking water and ice will be available for cooling-off
in the designated break area. If the symptoms do not subside after a
reasonable rest period, seek medical assistance.
Likewise, all workers should be alert for signs of cold stress, which
can lead to hypothermia and/or frostbite. Signs of hypothermia include
numbness in the extremities, slurred speech, lethargy, coma, and ultimately
death. In cases of mild hypothermia, the victim will be brought indoors,
covered with blankets, and given warm drinks (no coffee, tea, or alcohol)
to increase body temperature and warm the extremities. In cases of severe
hypothermia, the victim will be transported to the nearest medical facility.
To administer first-aid for frostbite, these steps should be followed:
- take the exposed worker indoors and warm the frostbitten areas quickly
in warm water that is between 102 and 105°F for approximately 20
minutes or until the frozen part is red in color;
- provide warm drinks, but no coffee, tea, or alcohol;
- keep the affected parts in warm water or covered with warm clothing
for 30 minutes (note that the tissue will be very painful as it thaws);
- if present, do not allow blisters to be broken;
- use sterile, soft, dry material to cover the injured area;
- keep the patient warm and get medical attention.
The following should NOT be done:
- Rubbing the frostbitten area (this may cause gangrene).
- Using ice, snow, gasoline, or anything cold on the frostbitten
- Using heat lamps or hot water bottles to warm the frostbitten
- Placing the exposed area near a hot stove.
See Section 3 (Job
Hazard Analysis) of this HASP for further information
on Heat/Cold Stress.
In the event of severe weather conditions, the Operations Section Chief,
with assistance from the Safety Officer, will determine if work can continue
without endangering the health and safety of field workers. Among the
factors to be considered prior to determining if work should continue
- Heavy precipitation.
- Potential for heat stress.
- Potential for cold stress and cold related injuries.
- Treacherous weather-related working conditions.
- Limited visibility.
- Potential for electrical storms.
- Potential for tornados
- Potential for flashfloods
- Potential for mudslides
(For guidance on heat and cold related weather issues see Appendix
3-6-A Heat Stress and Appendi3-6-B Cold Stress)
10-C (pdf) provides information and occurrence (depending on location)
on various hazardous weather conditions. Appendix
10-D (pdf) give guidance
on Thunderstorms/Tornadoes/lighting and Appendix
10-E (pdf) give guidance on