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2020 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG Books)

What is the ERG?

Be Prepared — Respond Appropriately
To Any Transportation Incident Involving Hazardous Materials

The ERG is the ideal guide to help when responding to transportation emergencies involving hazardous materials. It is a must-have for everyone who handles and transports dangerous goods and hazmat. This guide helps your company comply with the DOT 49 CFR 172.602 requirement that hazmat shipments be accompanied with emergency response information. The Emergency Response Guidebook is updated every 4 years - Don't be caught with the outdated 2016 ERG.

Summary of Changes Between the 2016 and 2020 Editions of the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)

Review what has changed in the ERG book?

White Pages
  • Update many section of the book to make them easier to read and understand
  • Decontamination section added
  • New Lithium Battery Labeling and Marking added
  • Quality of the illustrations in the rail car and road trailer identification charts improved

Orange Pages
  • Possible guide reassignments of certain entries after re-evaluating physical and health hazards
  • Inhalation toxicity concerns evaluated for petroleum crude oil (UN1267) on Guide 128
  • Radioactive materials Guides being evaluated for possible changes

Yellow and Blue Pages
  • UN numbers will be added or removed to align with United Nations Model Regulations and North American Regulations
  • Polymerization hazard criteria reviewed for certain high-risk materials
  • Re-analyzed the chemical properties of many materials to make sure that they are assigned to appropriate Orange Guides.

Orange Pages
  • Added an introduction "How to use the Orange Guides" section.
  • Made essential updates to necessary guide pages.
  • Updates made by specific organizations, including the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and United States National Fire Academy (NFA).
  • Safety distances reviewed and modified.
  • CAUTION sentences added to specific guides.

Green Pages
  • Revised distances in Table 1 and Table 3
  • Reorganized Table 3 by ID number.
  • Revision on introduction on how to use Table 2
  • Container capacities added to Table 3
  • Visual tab in border added to differentiate between Tables 1, 2, and 3 in the Green pages

See all the changes in our latest ERG blog article.

More ERG questions answered in our early 2020 ERG blog article...
13 questions (and answers) about the 2020 Emergency Response Guidebook

What are the Emergency Response Guidebook Colors

The ERG is organized into easily recognized colors.

  • WHITE - Introduction, instruction, guidance, placards, and more
  • YELLOW - Materials ordered by 4-Digit UN/NA Number
  • BLUE - Materials ordered by dangerous goods material name
  • ORANGE - The 62 response guides - they provide safety procedures and directions for what to do during the initial response phase of a hazardous materials incident.
  • GREEN - Illustrates the evacuation and protective action distance when a hazardous materials is considered Toxic-by-Inhalation (TIH). Materials in the Yellow and Blue section that are highlighted in green refer to this section.

Every one of your front-line personnel and all first responders should have the ERG — and now is the best time to place your order. Be the first on your team to have the latest — Get the 2020 ERG today!

Who Needs the 2020 ERG?

DOT 49 CFR 172.602 requires anyone who handles or transfers Dangerous Goods to have emergency response information immediately available. The 2020 ERG helps you comply with this requirement.

  • Truck Drivers and Railroad Personnel - The ERG is often used to satisfy Section 172.602 of the Federal hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR)
  • Freight Facility and Warehouse Personnel
  • Emergency Medial Services Personnel - And all the other officials who protect our highways, rails, waterways, and airports
  • Pipeline Personnel
  • Maritime Personnel
  • Pilots and Air Freight Handlers
  • Police
  • Firefighters

Any of these folks might be the first to call emergency responders with information that could save lives. Make sure every one of your front-line stackholders has a 2020 ERG — and knows how to use it.

The Essential ERG Infographic

Essential ERG Inforgraphic Do you need the ERG? Find out who does, see how the ERG works, and learn a little ERG history with Labelmaster's ERG infographic.

Did you know that over 13 million copies of the Emergency Response Guidebook have been distributed to public first responders since 1973. Find out more ERG facts and see what else is in the ERG.

Note: This infographic specifically references the 2016 ERG.

Now Available! Order your 2020 Emergency Response Guidebook.

ERG Accessories