Protection of first responders from chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) events
This is the first edition of CAN/CGSB/CSA-Z1610, Protection of first responders from chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) events.
Canadian first responders face a low probability of encountering chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) agents as a result of a terrorism event. However, given the serious potential consequences, first responders must be prepared to deal with such events. This Standard provides risk-based guidance to first responders on how to operate in a CBRN event. It is intended to ensure that all responders are provided with a consistent level of protection, regardless of responder service or jurisdiction.
This Standard applies only to suspected or known CBRN terrorism incidents. This Standard cannot specify equipment and procedures that will provide round-the-clock protection to responders in all circumstances; practically speaking, this is not possible. Early responders that arrive before an event is characterized as a CBRN event can themselves become casualties.
This Standard has been developed to apply to the Canadian environment. While it might be appropriate for other jurisdictions, users are responsible for assessing its applicability.
This Standard specifies various categories of responders and their potential roles in the response. The equipment selection process is based on the roles and requirements of the responders within each individual organization. Such operational requirements should be identified and understood in advance of an event. Well-defined roles, supplemented by scenario-based training and other approaches to reducing hazards, are an essential part of the effective selection and use of personal protective equipment.
This Standard was prepared by the Committee on the Protection of First Responders from Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Events, under the jurisdiction of the Strategic Steering Committee on Occupational Health and Safety, and has been formally approved by the Technical Committee. This Standard has been approved as a National Standard of Canada by the Standards Council of Canada.
This Standard specifies requirements for the selection, use, and care of personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders to a deliberate chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) incident, including releases and contagious outbreak events. It is specifically targeted to fire, police, and medical first responders/receivers in the front line of the response.
This Standard covers selection, use, and care of PPE for application in the initial response and intervention phases of a CBRN event. This Standard does not directly address PPE selection for the recovery phase, where the risk to the public is reduced, the incident is contained, the nature of the hazard is well understood, and response times are not critical. For information on response phases, see Clause 4.3.
This Standard takes a systems approach in identifying the requirements for whole-body protective system performance (respiratory, ocular, and dermal), including integration with other equipment. It also provides guidance on the capabilities and limitations of CBRN PPE and on how to enhance the protection provided by, and interoperability of CBRN PPE.
This Standard does not address operational or tactical procedures for responding to a CBRN event, except where they have a direct impact on the selection of PPE.
This Standard is not intended to apply to members of the general public or to health-care-related activities other than those that would be performed by hospital first receivers prior to admission or in an emergency department or similar facility. These activities are likely to include triage, decontamination, and initial or urgent treatment, but do not include on-going care following hospital admission.
This Standard is based on the assumption that a CBRN event will include only one type of CBRN agent or, where multiple agents are present, that the protective capabilities of PPE are not affected. PPE is not evaluated for its capability to simultaneously protect against multiple types of CBRN agents; it is possible that protective capability could be degraded by particular combinations of agents. In addition, if PPE is damaged by other physical hazards, it might provide less protection, particularly if its integrity is breached.
This Standard does not address protection from the detonation phase of nuclear events; it is assumed that first responders will be exposed only to the resulting radiologically active emissions.
Equipment to protect from hazards other than CBRN is considered only in the context of integration with CBRN protection. Protection from hazards not covered by the use of PPE is not addressed in detail.
Within the Canadian legislative framework, a variety of regulations apply to the first responder (FR), depending on the jurisdiction. These should be taken into consideration when implementing this Standard.