Every day, tonnes of hazardous materials circulate in Québec by road, rail, water or air. Whether solids, liquids or gases, the materials transported can be corrosive, explosive, flammable, radioactive, toxic or combustive, which cause upon contact the combustion of another body.
While the transportation of hazardous materials is regulated for safety reasons, accidents can happen.
Study the pictograms
Hazardous materials are identified by pictograms affixed to the containers that hold them or the vehicles that transport them. Such pictograms enable emergency responders to understand the nature of the hazard posed by the materials transported.
You too can learn to recognize these pictograms in order to protect yourself properly.
Exercise caution on the site of an accident
If you are the victim of or a witness to an accident involving hazardous materials:
- Move away from the accident site and ask other witnesses to do so.
- Call 911 to notify emergency services.
- Avoid smoke near the accident site.
In the event that a product spills or escapes, avoid all contact with it. If you are splashed by the product, notify the intervention service even if there is no apparent consequence.
Follow the authorities’ instructions
When the situation demands it, the authorities disseminate instructions, for example in the event of soil contamination or following the passage of a cloud of toxic smoke. Pay attention to these instructions and abide by them. You may be asked to:
- Comply with an evacuation order
- Observe a security perimeter
- Avoid consuming water and certain foodstuffs
- Clean your home or your property
- Monitor physical symptoms that may appear
Consult the media in your area to find out about the instructions issued.
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