Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Informing Decision-Making for Derailments Involving Hazmat: An Analysis of Phmsa Train Accident Data
by Heffner, Michael D., M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 109; 10604290
Abstract (Summary)

A review of literature suggests that train derailments are a statistically relevant concern. While not all train derailments involve hazardous materials, those that do release chemicals pose a public health threat. This study challenges the decision-making mainstay tool of the hazardous materials response community – the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) – and its default strategy of evacuation through quantitative research that evaluates data from train derailments involving the release of hazardous materials. It explores whether there are correlations between a derailment’s variables and evacuation, as well as correlations between the number evacuated and the number of those injured or killed. Secondary data on train derailments from the Pipeline Hazardous Material Safety Administration revealed 358 incidents involving the release of 876 substances between October 12, 1989 through August 10, 2016. The resulting data analysis confirms a certain level of predictability between causal factors and worsening outcomes supporting expansion of decision-making tools in the ERG.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Feldmann-Jensen, Shirley
Commitee: Colle, Jude, Rodrigue, Christine M.
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Criminology, Criminal Justice and Emergency Management
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Public health, Public policy, Transportation
Keywords: Derailments, Evacuations, Hazardous, Hazmat, Plume, Shelter-in-place
Publication Number: 10604290
ISBN: 978-0-355-23022-2
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