Hazchem Code (hazardous chemical Code) or EAC (Emergency Action Code).

It provides critical information required about hazardous chemical during transportation of the same.

It is also known as “First Three Minutes Action Code”.

How to read HAZCHEM Code?

The HAZCHEM code for any chemical consists of three parts on an orange background.

(a) A number 1 to 4.

(b) A capital letter P to T or W to Z.

(c) An optional letter E.

(a) SIGNIFICANCE OF Nos. 1 to 4 – (On basis of use of types of Fire extinguishers):

  1. Water jet.
  2. Water fog
    Water Fog produced by a high pressure atomizing jet directed upwards.
  3. Foam
    (Use of normal protein foam by all fire brigades).
  4. Dry agent
    Commonly known as Dry chemical powder and vaporizing liquids are also in this category.

(b) SIGNIFICANCE OF LETTERS – P to T and W to Z (Except Q):

  • Materials code from P to T are those which may in an emergency be diluted & flushed down the nearest drain.
  • Materials code from W to Z may not be diluted and must be contained.
  • Materials P & R, and W & X are those whose vapor or products of combustion are injurious to the human skin and for which full impervious protective clothing (generally nitride rubber) as well as (Self ContainedBreathing Apparatus (SCBA) must be provided.
  • Materials S & T and Y & Z are those for which Breathing Apparatus (BA)alone is necessary.
  • BA (Breathing Apparatus) is frequently necessary for work in smoke and oxygen deficient atmospheres even when the chemical itself presents no hazard.
  • Materials P, S, W & Y are capable of reacting violently either alone or withsome other substance (e. g., water, air, metals or combustible materials)with which they may come in contact.
  • The final and optional letter E calls for evacuation of all persons other than the fire brigade to a minimum distance of 200 meters from the incident spot, whether fire or spillage.
  • Use it for materials which may be particularly hazardous, e.g., explosive, super toxic, biologically active or radioactive.
HAZCHEM Code Or Emergency Action code
HAZCHEM Code Or Emergency Action code
  • V means substance can violently or explosively reactive.
  • FULL means Full Body Protective Clothing with Breathing Apparatus.
  • BA means Breathing Apparatus.
  • DILUTE means we can dilute it and drain it with large amount of water.
  • CONTAIN means we can not dilute it. We need to contain it. We need to prevent it from spillage in drainage or with water.
    Hazchem No. of Sodium cyanide 4X is and that of Vinyl chloride is 2WE.
    Read it from above details and we can evaluate how to react in case of emergency.