The role of hazardous material placards in transportation safety and security
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The role of hazardous material placards in transportation safety and security

Filetype[PDF-361.69 KB]


English

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  • Alternative Title:
    Sensitive Security Information : This document contains sensitive security information (SSI) controlled under 49 CFR 1520. The SSI sections have been redacted and the remainder of the document is being disclosed.
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  • NTL Classification:
    AGR-SAFETY AND SECURITY-SAFETY AND SECURITY;NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-SAFETY AND SECURITY;
  • Abstract:
    Following the events of September 11, 2001, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has taken steps to reduce vulnerabilities of hazardous materials in transportation through security enhancing initiatives directed at reducing their potential use in a terrorist event. As part of this effort, the DOT evaluated existing safety regulations to ascertain whether they detracted from efforts to enhance security. While it is agreed that existing safety regulations generally enhance security, some have called into question the hazardous materials placarding requirements. They have argued that placards, which are important for communicating the presence of hazardous materials, also might aid a terrorist in identifying hazardous materials in transportation and have suggested that placards should be removed and that an alternative to placards should be provided. In response to placarding concerns, the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS) conducted a review of the use of placards on shipments of hazardous materials from the perspective of both safety and security. To ensure an informed review, OHMS sponsored two workshops with participants with expertise in security, hazmat shipping, public safety and emergency response, and relevant alternative communication technologies. The workshops took into account professional experiences as well as other research, most notably findings from a related study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Alternatives to the current U.S. placarding system that would improve the security of shipments of hazardous materials, without compromising or degrading safety, were evaluated.
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