This resource guide provided information in four primary segments:
and Biological/Chemical Agents
The world will never be the same following September 11, 2001. In response to the events at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and numerous anthrax scares–government officials are working to protect citizens from acts of terrorism. Many federal and state government agencies are developing guidelines related to bio/chemical terrorism for businesses and the general public.
Terrorism presents a new workplace hazard. Typically we know what the hazards of the workplace are, and we know how to protect workers against known risks. However, the hazards of terrorism are not a part of the workplace–they are unexpected and they may be unknown. When dealing with the unexpected a cooperative effort is essential.
|Although this brochure provides some direct
information, its main function is to provide a list of Internet
websites where the user can find detailed information. Many of the
websites are listed using the home site and the user will need to search
for the topic. Whenever a link fails we suggest backing up to the home page
and executing a search for the specific material.
Below is a brief outline of the Risk Management process:
Risk Management details can be found at the South Carolina
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation www.llr.state.sc.us/workplace/workplacesecurity.htm
|1. Preparing for Emergencies|
|No one expects an emergency or
disaster to directly affect them, their
employees or their business. An emergency or
disaster, however, can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time. Workplace emergencies in the past have
included: fires, floods, toxic gas releases or chemical spills, explosions, etc.
Now that list also must include acts of terrorism.
When an emergency happens, few people can think clearly and logically during the crisis. Thus, it is important to prepare to respond to an emergency before it occurs. A typical procedure for planning emergency response includes the following:
Evaluate Your Potential as a Terrorist
Evaluate Your Building Vulnerability
Building Security Actions
Building Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Controls
HVAC system controls:
For buildings that are high risk:
General Industry Safety Standard Part 6, lists requirements for Emergency Escape Procedures and Routes in Rule 608. Rule 608 requires that employers inform employees of emergency escape procedures and emergency routes to approved means of egress. In addition, employers must ensure that a sufficient number of persons are designated to assist in a safe and orderly evacuation.
Construction Safety Standards Part 18, lists requirements for Employee Emergency Action Plans in Rule 1842. Rule 1842 requires emergency escape procedures and routes, head counting and procedures to be followed by employees who remain and operate critical plant operations before they evacuate, etc.
Occupational Health Standard Part 432, Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) lists requirements for emergency response plans in Rule 30. Rule 30 covers development of emergency response plans for workers that respond to an uncontrolled release of a hazardous substance.
The problem with these regulations is their limited scope. They were designed specifically for actions to ensure employee safety from fire or an uncontrolled release of a chemical, which are pre-9/11 emergencies. Now the scope of "emergency" must be expanded to include items like bomb threat procedures, community emergency preparedness, and non-evacuation emergencies.
In some emergencies it may be appropriate to use the building as a "Safe Zone" and not evacuate. Typically in emergencies we think of evacuating the building. However, in some weather emergencies (e.g. tornado) we do not evacuate but seek shelter in a safe area in the building.
Another exception to building evacuation would occur if a biological, chemical or nuclear contaminant was released outdoors near the facility. The best practice would be to turn off the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) units, seal all outdoor air entrances (doors, windows and fresh air entrances) and remain in the building until an all clear is announced.
Planning for a non-evacuation emergency could mean supplying food and water; materials to seal doors, windows and out door air intakes; having a plan to manipulate the ventilation system; and even supplying disposable respirators. The N-95 disposable respirator ($1.50 each) is often effective in reducing exposure to airborne particulate.
What people are most afraid of is biological, chemical or nuclear terrorism. However, if we consider Europe’s experience, the most likely terrorism tool is a conventional bomb. This is because explosives are relatively easy to obtain and use. Schools have been the frequent targets of bomb threats. Thus, we are including the following Bomb Threat Procedures and Bomb Threat Check List.
Sample Bomb Threat Procedure
Sample Bomb Threat Check List
1. Record the exact wording of the threat.
5. Signature of person taking the call.
6. Phone number that received the call.
7. Date and time of call.
|2. Terrorism and Industrial Chemicals|
There is concern about the use of industrial chemicals as terrorist weapons for several reasons. Industrial chemicals are available in quantity and the large volume offsets their lower toxicity. It is much easier to cause an explosion resulting in a chemical release or spill than to make military agents or obtain biological weapons. Even when chemical or biological weapons are obtained it can be hard to use them effectively.
Aum Shinrikyo, (the Japanese terrorist group that released Sarin gas in the Tokyo sub-way system) released Anthrax reportedly 8 times in Tokyo, and no one was infected. Conversely in Bhopal, India, a chemical plant system malfunction in 1984 caused a catastrophic chemical leak resulting in severe injury and the devastating loss of life for thousands in the surrounding community.
Some MIOSHA standards that address industrial chemicals are: Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER), Process Safety Management (PSM), and Hazard Communication/Right to Know. These standards help employers identify hazards, but do not require them to evaluate hazardous chemicals or processes.
Although the PSM standard contains a 130-plus list of highly hazardous chemicals, terrorism prevention was not considered when selecting the chemicals, thresholds or processes. If we look at this chemical list from the terrorist’s point of view there are very obvious omissions. A recent review of 167 chemical accidents that killed more than 100 people found that over half of the chemicals involved were not on the PSM list.
Because no list could ever be all-inclusive, it is more practical to define chemical categories. Employers who maintain a large inventory of hazardous chemicals may want to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) "Ten Step Hazard Analysis." The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has identified one of the best lists of hazardous chemical categories. The list of nine categories can be found on their website at: and is printed below (DOT Chart 10, Hazardous Materials, Marking, Labeling & Placarding Guide).
The "Ten Step Hazard Analysis"
The CDC developed the "Ten Step Hazard Analysis" to help employers identify threats posed by industrial chemicals and prevent their use as improvised weapons.
assess and prioritize threats - highly hazardous chemicals, explosives, easily
accessible piping and valves,
railway cars of hazardous chemicals at leased sidings,
Depending on your hazard "risk" analysis, some or all of the following recommendations may be applicable to your workplace:
Since 9/11 and subsequent anthrax mailborne terrorist attacks, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been involved in a collaborative effort to learn what plans and procedures are appropriate to address the new threat of terrorism in the workplace.
OSHA convened a bioterrorism task force that included: the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other agencies. Employers, workers and government agencies have joined together against a common enemy to keep workers safe.
MIOSHA is developing information, including this brochure, to help Michigan employers take reasonable and necessary steps to assure the safety of their workers.
POTENTIAL BIOLOGICAL/CHEMICAL TERRORIST AGENTS
We do not know what terrorist events may happen in the future. We do know that there are a variety of materials that are potential biological/chemical terrorist agents.
Anthrax is an effective bio-terrorism agent because it’s inhalation form is lethal if not treated with antibiotics, it is relatively easy to produce, and it is very durable. However, it is hard to aerosolize and distribute, and there has to be a significant dose to be infective. The U.S. has a cell free filtrate vaccine (contains no dead or live bacteria) and production of the vaccine is ongoing.
Other Potential Bioterrorism Agents:
Other Potential Chemical Terrorism Weapons:
HANDLING SUSPICIOUS MAIL
Most employers and employees face little or no risk of exposure to anthrax and need only minimal precautions, but some may have to deal with potential or known exposures. Federal OSHA developed an Anthrax Matrix in consultation with the U. S. Postal Service, the CDC and NIOSH, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the FBI.
The Anthrax Matrix guides employers in assessing risk to their workers, providing appropriate protective equipment and specifying safe work practices for low-, medium- and highrisk levels in the workplace. MIOSHA and OSHA expect to continually update information on anthrax and other terrorism threats as new guidance becomes available.
The federal OSHA website now includes:
OSHA, the CDC, the U.S. Postal Service, and the FBI have all developed guidelines for businesses and the general public if they encounter suspicious mail and/or packages. In each of the guidelines, after making sure the material is isolated and that all exposed persons have washed their hands–they advise that local law enforcement authorities be called immediately.
These guidelines emphasize preventing the spread of anthrax spores through careful handling and isolation of suspicious packages and their contents.
General Mail Handling
Employers should designate individuals who are trained to respond in the event they receive a suspicious mailing. At a minimum, the designated employees should know how to contact facility managers, local emergency responders, and local law enforcement officials. Additionally, they should have authority to secure potentially contaminated areas or to direct others to do so.
THE FIRST RESPONDER
MIOSHA rules are designed to help protect first responders when the release or potential threat of release of biological, chemical or radiological agents has occurred. Specifically, Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER), Firefighter/Right to Know, and Hazard Communication/Right to Know apply.
Any time a firefighter or other first responder approaches a potentially hazardous atmosphere (including a biological hazard), a plan is required that includes: an assessment of the hazard and exposure potential, respiratory protection and protective clothing needs, entry conditions, exit routes and decontamination. (See MIOSHA Firefighter/Right to Know, Section 14.)
Some of the items to consider when responding to a terrorist incident are included in the following:
For health care employers and emergency responders, there is a large body of response planning information. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), CDC, the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Department of Defense, and OSHA have several resources about how hospitals can plan and prepare for terrorist events. The Michigan Department of Community Health has recently opened the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response to Bioterrorism, to help state and local health agencies upgrade preparedness for and response to bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks and other public health threats.
There is potential for catastrophic incidents in any community. Whether the disaster is a naturally occuring tornado, hurricane, earthquake, flood, or blizzard or a man made terrorist incident, there can be significant community impact.
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a comprehensive, national approach to catastrophic incident managment that enables all government, private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together.
The intent of NIMS is to be applicable across a full spectrum of potential incidents and hazard scenarios, regardless of the size or complexity; and, improve coordination and cooperation between public and private entities.
NIMS provides a flexible framework and a set of standardized organizational structures, as well as requirement for processes, procedures and systems.
Information about NIMS can be located on the FEMA webpage: www.fema.gov.
Federal OSHA has also published "Best Practices for the Protection of Hospital - Based First Receivers." This document discusses OSHA's Rationale for PPE selection and hazard assessment for first receivers of victims of mass casualty incidents.
|4. Website Information|
|HOME PAGE WEBSITES|
Additional Website Information
"Chemical - Biological
Terrorism Awareness and Response to the Threat"
Extension Disaster Education
Guidelines for Health Care
Providers in Clinics and
Hospital Emergency Departments
Helping Children and Families
Cope with Disaster
Industrial Plant Security
Industrial Plant Security
U. S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases:
S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense:
MIOSHA Occupational Health
Canada Office for Laboratory
Public Health Assessment
of Biological Terrorism
Agents and Chemical Weapons
Select Agents Regulation
Selection and Use of Protective
Clothing and Respirators Against Biological and Chemical Weapons
Training Course Concerning
Transportation and Transfer
of Biological Agents
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
MIOSHA/CET #0153 (Rev. 9/03)