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Environmental Response Team (ERT) Health & Safety

EPA's Health and Safety Program

ERT's safety experts manage EPA’s Emergency Responder Health and Safety program, ensuring the health and safety of all. ERT maintains a database to track training and medical monitoring of field employees. ERT also maintains and distributes personal protective equipment required of EPA personnel during site visits. ERT safety specialists serve as EPA’s national experts for health and safety management and oversight at Superfund sites and hazardous fieldwork sites.

Personal Protection

ERT's safety experts are charged with implementing EPA's Worker Protection Standard. In addition, they assess potential risks to all personnel at sites. ERT personnel develop, implement and monitor a variety of sampling and study activities in conjunction with air surveillance activities. ERT provides on-site safety management, including establishment and initial setup of the Incident Command System (ICS) Safety Command function for emergency response operations and large national incidents. ERT provides operational safety guidance, respiratory fit testing, site safety plan reviews, site safety audits, protocols for personal protective equipment, and continuous training for all emergency responders. ERT develops agency safety and health policy, guidance and protocols to clarify regulations, facilitate compliance, and promote occupational health and safety. ERT provides technical assistance in health and safety to various research committees and advisory boards, and co-chairs the National Response Team (NRT) Worker Safety and Health Subcommittee with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

Health and Safety Assistance

ERT reviews, evaluates and offers guidance on existing site-specific health and safety plans, emergency response plans, contingency plans, safety equipment, protocols, and standards. ERT safety staff are available to conduct on-site field safety assistance and safety audits of work sites to ensure that safety programs are set up and managed properly to provide worker protection. ERT serves as EPA's Safety-Health and Environmental Management Division's Center of Excellence for Health and Safety for Emergency Response.