This course aims to provide hazmat responders with techniques that are quick and relatively easy to deploy at incidents. These techniques can be applied to identify which hazard categories are applicable to substances and environments. The course involves basic chemistry principles and will enhance the response where:
- the tempo is fast-moving and of a dynamic and complex nature
- more than one substance is involved and there is the potential that it will form a new material/hazard
- the material is not labelled or label is clearly incorrect
- illicit/malicious hazmat
- ‘white powder’ incidents
This is particularly important to help complete a suitable and sufficient risk assessment as the first step is the identification of hazards. The principles will also support the deployment of more complex Detection, Identification and Monitoring (DIM) equipment where confirmation testing is very valuable.
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- This course utilises basic wet chemistry techniques including, flame tests, pH, oxidising, miscibility and reaction with water to categorise unknown substances. It also described good sampling techniques and other considerations in the field, for example effects of weather and crime scene considerations.
What You'll Learn
- Following completion of this course, attendees will be able to safely obtain a representative sample of a bulk material and identify or discount certain hazard categories applicable to the unknown substance. They will know the limitations of these techniques and how these methods can support other indicators and information sources. Participants will also develop an understanding of the requirement to maintain forensic integrity and become aware of the techniques to ensure this.