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Last updated: October 21, 2018

What Does HAZMAT Team Mean?

A hazmat team is an organized group of professionals who are specially trained to handle hazardous materials or dangerous goods. Examples of hazardous materials or dangerous goods include: combustibles substances, explosives, corrosive liquids, dangerous cargo, oxidizing agents, radioactive materials, asphyxiating, bio-hazard and toxic substances, pathogenic or allergenic materials. Hazardous conditions may also include container leaks or the explosion of compressed gases, liquids, hot materials, chemicals and acts of terrorism etc.. A hazmat team responds to all oil, chemical and other liquid spills, industrial and military explosions and accidents during transportation etc..

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Safeopedia Explains HAZMAT Team

A hazmat team needs the following working knowledge:

  • Assessing the hazards
  • Basic chemistry
  • Protective clothing types and uses
  • Detecting and monitoring equipment
  • Working methodology for handling each situation
  • Proper disposal of hazardous wastes
  • Techniques of isolation and decontamination of the affected area

Hazmat teams are generally responsible for the following:

  • Safe evacuation of the occupants from the building and the immediate affected area
  • Safe working during the operation with minimum harm to life and property
  • Removal of hazards from the building or the area and make it risk free
  • Arrange medical supports to victims
  • Other duties as ordered by on scene commander etc.

Duties of the hazmat teams vary from country to country or as per the local government or organization’s practices. In some countries, different types of hazardous incidents are handled by different types of teams depending on their specialty. Some handle industrial accidents, some handle marine accidents, while others handle fire related incidents.


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