The decontamination process

Previous steps:


Before undertaking any work of maintenance, rehabilitation or transformation of construction (building or structure) or any other support (train, boat, etc) it is advisable to know what is in it, carry on out a preliminary investigation.

The aim of this research is to look for possible hazardous waste so that it ca be properly managed.


A fundamental aspect for the adequate management of hazardous waste is its identification since the nature and characteristics of the danger inherent to it will determine the appropriate actions and precautions in each case for its manipulation.

In order to be able to identify hazardous waste, it may be necessary to take samples of it, using the most appropriate mechanisms for each type of waste (environmental measurements, collection of fragments, etc.), taking the appropriate precautions.


Finally, a report should be drawn up quantifying the hazardous waste detected, including at least the following data: quantity, location, type, and status.

In some sectors, it may also be necessary to indicate other data, such as producer, the origin of the way and previous actions (date and description of treatments carried out, environmental isolations, irrigation of sealants, etc.)


The inventory of hazardous substances can be carried out as a preliminary step to the transformation of a building structure (for example, to carry out rehabilitation, demolition or scrapping), or to have knowledge of their condition and characteristics.

Some inventories can be requested by legal requirements (for example, in the case of industrial ruins, contaminated soil, etc. ), and the other is carried out because the building or structure is still in use and it is desired to incorporate hazardous substances into the occupational risk prevention plan.

The decontamination process:

Phase 1: work plan

Phase 2: isolation of the affected area

Phase 3: removal of hazardous waste

Phase 4: conditioning for transport

Phase 5: verification of the affected area and decontamination

Step 6: delivery to the authorized hauler

Phase 7: preparation of the decontamination report


Management of hazardous waste after decontamination:


The storage must always be done under safe conditions, and with preventive measures adapted to the hazardous waste in question.


The transport must be carried out by an authorized transporter, with prior notification to the competent authority (generally carried out telematically) and traceability by means of control and monitoring documents  being maintained at all times

Definitive treatment or storage

When hazardous waste cannot be treated to neutralize its dangerousness, the manager´s task would then be to condition it for final disposal

Final management and transfer of ownership

The management of hazardous waste really ends once all the documentary stages have been completed and all the documentation has been handed over to the produces of hazardous waste, which must be kept for the period established.