Emergency information panel


In India, it is mandatory for the vehicles transporting hazardous chemicals to display Emergency Information Panel (EIP) with details and at places as specified under Rule 134 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 as shown in the next figure.

Every goods carriage used for transporting any dangerous or hazardous goods shall be legibly and conspicuously marked with an emergency information panel in each of the three places as specified, so that the emergency information panel faces to each side of the carriage and to its rear and such panel shall contain the following information viz.,

  • The correct technical name of the dangerous or hazardous goods in letters not less than 50 mm high.
  • The United Nations class number for the dangerous goods in letters not less than 100 mm high (Rule 137).
  • The class label of the dangerous or hazardous goods in the size of not less than 250 mm square.
  • The name and telephone number of the emergency services to be contacted in the event of fire or any other accident in letters and numerals that are not less than 50 mm high and the name and telephone number of the consignor of the dangerous or hazardous goods or of some other person from whom expert information and advice can be obtained concerning the measures that should be taken in the event of emergency.

Every class label and emergency information panel (EIP) shall be marked on the goods carriage and shall be kept free and clean from obstruction at all times.

The emergency information panel (EIP) should have dimensions as shown in the next figure.

One practical problem encountered with the use of EIP is the selection of the substance identification number and the HAZCHEM code to be incorporated in the EIP when a tanker transports different chemicals in different compartments. The solution in such case is to incorporate the word "Multi-load" in the sections of EIP earmarked for "UN Number" and "HAZCHEM" and to label each compartment separately with the UN number and HAZCHEM code corresponding to the chemical in the compartment.

As to the level of compliance to this statutory requirement, it is quite disheartening to note the lack of concern shown by both, the consignors / transporters as well as the various regulatory agencies involved. It has been observed that carriers are not displaying the details of hazards chemical in EIR.

Following deficiencies in respect of the Emergency Information Panels on hazardous goods carriers was further observed:

Display of EIP not in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 (CMVR). The EIP as per CMVR should be displayed at three locations on a carrier viz; extreme back and both sides of the vehicle with class label in front of the vehicle (Fig 1). It has been observed that in place of information as per EIP and information of hazardous chemicals other information is provided (photo-5, 6). Photo 5 has no EIP and photo 6 has no information as per colour code. Both photos are of same one vehcle.

 

The information given in the EIP does not match with the chemical being transported. This may be due to:
- Carelessness in adhering, to CMVR requirements by the Consignor.
- Driver of the vehicle not affixing on the EIP, the stickers for class label, UN number HAZCHEM, etc. supplied by the consignor at the time of loading a chemical

 
  • Carriers designed for other purpose are being used for transporting of hazardous goods. Photo 7 shows the transportation of LPG cylinders in ordinary truck without EIP.
  • Some time EIP on paper has printed and pasted on vehicle these paper during transportation during rainy season washed out.
 

Emergency procedures in the event of a Tanker/Truck accident

  1. If possible drive out of populated areas.
  2. Identify the cargo, refer labels, TREM Card, instructions.
  3. In case of a major leak of highly inflammable gas/vapour do not start the engine,
  4. Order on lookers to leave the affected area.
  5. Stop pilferage of the leaked substance, it can be dangerous.
  6. Secure the accident area and divert traffic.
  7. Remove affected persons for first aid.
  8. In the event of electrical fire, isolate the battery of the vehicle.
  9. In case of fire, inform Fire Station, avoid inhalation of fumes, use gas masks if required.
  10. In case of leaks, see if it can be arrested easily.
  11. Contain small spills by covering with sand.
  12. Avoid direct contact with skin, wash with water and use necessary protective clothing like PVC apron.
  13. In case of contact with eyes or skin wash with plenty of water. For any major contamination, remove clothing immediately.
 

 

 
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