Health and Safety Plan

Decontamination Procedures


The decontamination procedures are designed to achieve an orderly, controlled removal or neutralization of contaminants that may accumulate on personnel or equipment. These procedures minimize employee contact with contaminants and protect against the transfer of contaminants to clean areas of the site and off-site. They also extend the useful life of PPE by reducing the amount of time that contaminants contact and can permeate PPE surfaces.

Decontamination procedures are necessary to protect field personnel and control the spread of contamination by either personnel or equipment. Personnel participating in the field activities may potentially become contaminated in a number of ways, including:

  • Contact with vapors, gases, mists, or particulates in the air
  • Being splashed by materials while sampling (this includes infected animal secretions or blood)
  • Walking on or touching contaminated soil, objects, surfaces, water or other materials

The level of decontamination is prescribed by the situation. An example would be in an outbreak situation. During the investigation phase of a deployment, de-contamination may consist of spraying disinfectant on shoes and on vehicle tires. Once an biological agent is discovered and containment measures are used, de-contamination procedure would be expanded to a de-con line when leaving the contaminated area. This de-con line may include applying disinfectant, removing PPE, and washing before leaving the areas.