Skip to main content

Developed and maintained by the NFCC

Control measure

Seek specialist advice for hazardous materials

Control measure knowledge

Specialist advice should be sought to support the incident commander's operational plan. Advice should be used to identify the type of waste, appropriate actions and the level of personal protective equipment (PPE) and decontamination required.

Incident commanders should consider seeking advice from specialist tactical advisers and/or third party scientific advisers. Staff at specialist waste treatment facilities may also be able to provide advice.

If substances are not known, detection, identification and monitoring (DIM) teams may be able to assist.

For further information, refer to National Operational Guidance: Hazardous materials.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Understand which specialist advisers may be able to assist and how to contact them in the event of hazardous materials being, or suspected of being, present at a fire in a waste site. These may include:

    • Environment agencies
    • Public health agencies
    • Detection, identification and monitoring (DIM) teams
    • Site owners
    • Hazardous materials advisers
    • Specialist advisers for ammunition
    • Scientific advisers

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Seek specialist advice
  • Obtain a site manifest

  • Obtain any Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) documentation held on-site
  • Implement an appropriate level of personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to deal with identified or suspected hazardous materials
  • Deploy the minimum number of personnel required to safely complete the tasks required
  • Fully brief all personnel entering the inner cordon on all known or suspected hazards
  • Ensure that a clean area for resting and standby teams has welfare and hygiene provision - refer to National Operational Guidance: Operations for further information
  • Ensure appropriate health and safety monitoring during and after the incident
  • Document any exposure