Itech Articles

In Case of Emergencies: TEAP® III Emergency Response

Posted by Rob Symons

May 7, 2014


For years many insurers and risk managers have relied upon preferred vendor programs to fill their general property restoration and response needs. Although effective at fulfilling those needs, many of the insurers and risk managers still struggle to find the appropriate highly technical responder to overcome their risk exposures to chemical and transportation related claims. TEAP III registration enables the risk manager and insurer to pre-approve the appropriate response contractor to fill their transportation, industrial and large commercial exposure risks.

TEAP® III (Transportation Emergency Assistance Program, Version Three) registration is recognition of having met industry-set requirements for transportation emergency response capability in Canada.

The TEAP III Transportation Emergency Response Service Provider (TERSP) Standard is in place to pre-assess the on-scene capabilities of a responder whether it is in-house, mutual aid or a third-party response contractor (as is often the case). A significant part of the TEAP III system involves a bi-annual site visit by a three person third-party assessment team and an annual self-report on the capabilities of each individual response contractor’s location. When a response contractor (TERSP) is TEAP III registered, it means the responder has undergone a complete records and location assessment against specific criteria in the TEAP III TERSP Standard including:

• Interview of registered response personnel,
• training records and competency checks,
• inspection and maintenance of response equipment, and
• identification of response capability for all of the above.

TEAP has been evolving for over 40 years under the auspices of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), formerly the Canadian Chemical Producers Association (CCPA). The current industry TEAP III stakeholders include the CIAC, Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors (CACD), the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), the Canadian National Railway (CNR), Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and the Canadian Emergency Response Contractors Alliance (CERCA), however, it appears the insurance industry is unaware of TEAP and is missing from this collective effort. It would seem insurers and risk managers might have an interest in the success and growth of a program that addresses training and experience required for such high risk and high exposure activities.

The maturity and partnership of the TEAP organization substantiates its ability to transition from providing a reactive service years ago to the current proactive assessment and registration program it is today.

TEAP I started in the early 1970’s and predated many of the Acts and Regulations we use today including: Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (1980), CCPA’s Responsible Care (1985), Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System – WHMIS (1985) and even the Canadian Environmental Protection Act – CEPA (1990). Initially a 24-hour national call centre, the TEAP I system linked knowledgeable industry personnel to those needing information on how to respond to incidents involving Dangerous Goods.

The Grange Report which was released in 1981 about the Mississauga Railway Incident that resulted in the evacuation of 250,000 residents in Mississauga, invoked a number of changes to the system. Among the changes was a resolution that all shippers of Dangerous Goods must have a plan to respond to incidents that is approved by the Federal Minister of Transport. This recommendation among others formed the basis of the Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) as regulated under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act.

In 1983 TEAP II became the natural evolvement from a national telephone system providing technical support, to an on-scene mutual aid response network with trained personnel and state of the art equipment. Eleven Regional Response Centres (RRC’s) were established across Canada, in locations to allow on-site response within 6 hours to anywhere in Canada. This system of operation continued throughout the 80’s, driven primarily by industry personnel responding to their own incidents. As the program continued, third party contractors began to get established with equipment and training often employing former chemistry industry personnel. By 1992, TEAP II lead to the formation of the Emergency Response Contractor Task Force which included the cooperation of other organizations including Transport Canada, Environment Canada, the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI) and the Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI). Interestingly, that TEAP II contractor task force eventually developed into a trade association now known as the Canadian Emergency Response Contractors Alliance (CERCA).

TEAP® III evolved in 2006 under the guidance of the CCPA Board of Directors who mandated membership of all CCPA member companies. The member companies also had to maintain 24/7 technical advisors, home coordinators, media spokespeople and on-scene response capability for ERAP dangerous goods, non-ERAP dangerous goods and even non-regulated commodities. To enhance the on-site emergency event capabilities, other key stakeholders including the Responsible Care transportation partners and other trade associations were invited to attend.

Of particular interest to the insurer and risk manager is the transparency of the organization which makes it possible to confirm and pre-approve qualified responders according to their risk. The TERSP Standard Assessment Reports are publicly available, enabling simple access to pre-qualified TEAP® III responders. Qualified response contractors can be pre-screened to ensure their capabilities are brought into the mainstream emergency response of industrial and large loss events. The insurer can easily secure the appropriately qualified contractor to the specific loss event and even manage their risk through already established regulated ERAP programs. The ability afforded the insurer to pre-screen qualified contractors according to their chemical risk exposures by commodity, region and capabilities is now made easily accessible.

The insurer’s involvement in pre-loss risk management through the development of quality relationships with the appropriate response capable contractors is essential to managing the risk and potential exposure of large loss, transportation and chemical risks. An established pre-loss relationship with dangerous goods contractors is essential to controlling costs and understanding the role of a true emergency responder. Some of the assessed emergency responders are former members of chemical industry response teams, capable of providing a wealth of knowledge and expertise when examining risks and exposure to pre-loss events. During the insurers’ and Risk Managers assessment of a potential exposure, the TEAP III responder can be a value added resource to understanding and limiting your risk.

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