Updated guide for responding to dangerous goods emergencies


7 July 2010

Standards New Zealand has published an updated version of Dangerous goods – initial emergency response guide SAA/SNZ HB 76:2010.

The new joint edition replaces previous versions of Australia's HB 76:2004 and New Zealand's SNZ HB 76:2008. The new edition provides the United Nations (UN) numbers that appear in the 16th edition of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods that was published in 2009. Other changes include:

  • updated guide numbers for some dangerous goods to more closely reflect the appropriate actions to be taken in an emergency
  • a number of requirements added to a range of guides
  • the addition of a new Guide 52 covering desensitised explosives
  • dangerous goods technical names, including military designations for terrorist materials, added to the alphabetical listing
  • text alterations to reflect the joint Australia/New Zealand status of the handbook.

Bill Birch, Technical Manager, New Zealand Chemical Industry Council and a SAA/SNZ HB 76 technical committee member, emphasises the handbook is principally for trained emergency responders. However, it provides step-by-step instructions to enable people without a technical background to respond to dangerous goods emergencies safely and effectively.

'This handbook is not a substitute for emergency response training, experience, and sound judgement, but if used properly, it will expedite emergency response and help prevent an incident from becoming a catastrophe,' Birch says.

'Managing dangerous goods is a dynamic process so it's important to be right up with the play. The revised handbook includes changes to suit Australian and New Zealand conditions to enable the correct action that needs to be taken in an emergency,' says Birch.

The durable A5 wiro-bound handbook has been designed to fit in a vehicle glove compartment. 'The handbook is vital for the transport and chemical industries. It's also an important tool for many other work environments particularly warehouses and transit depots,' Birch says.

Other SAA/SNZ HB 76 technical committee members included New Zealand dangerous goods experts Dick Thornton-Grimes, New Zealand Fire Service Hazardous Substances Advisor; Pete Roche, Director of HazKnow Ltd; and Richard Bean, Senior Engineer, New Zealand Transport Agency.

Order SAA/NZS HB 76:2010 from www.standards.co.nz or call 0800 782 632 during business hours.

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Jayne McCullum
Standards New Zealand
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