What are decontamination units and what are they used for?

What are decontamination units and what are they used for?

For organisations dealing with hazardous materials, decontamination units are essential to every day operations. Here’s everything you need to know.

Decontamination units — often referred to as a “Decon” unit — are transportable shower units used specifically for removing contaminants; ensuring personnel are adequately cleansed of any harmful pollutants they may have been exposed to in the course of their work.

These differ greatly from regular onsite shower / wash facilities, which are more for general welfare purposes than actual decontamination, and are essential to organisations where staff are either handling or are exposed to hazardous materials. In fact, there are a number of key components that make decontamination units especially equipped for their very specific purpose.

For starters, a typical decontamination unit will have two separate access doors for personnel to enter depending on whether they are “clean” or “contaminated”. From here, personnel will either change into the protective clothing appropriate to the hazard they will encounter, or change out of their contaminated workwear and proceed through it’s compartmentalised cleaning chambers to ensure the pollutant is thoroughly removed before changing into their everyday clothing.

Even the air inside the unit is maintained at a lower (negative) pressure in order to help contain airborne contaminants, and is filtered before passing through to the outside. Depending on what the unit is specifically used for, the shower waste water stream may also be filtered to remove any particulate matter before disposal.

Of course, this is just an overview of how decontamination units can be used, but it’s clear they form an integral part of an organisation’s health and safety protocols for when staff are working in an environment that exposes them to pollutants that may be detrimental to themselves or others.

As such, decontamination units have a wide range of applications in the industrial sectors and are frequently used in the fields of contaminated land remediation; anti-pollution work; asbestos management; lead paint removal; surface preparation and coating; and tank cleaning and purging.

Decontamination units are also widely used in the healthcare sector, providing a sound environment for the decontamination and sterilisation of medical equipment used in hospitals, clinics and surgeries. Technicians working in one of these units can be responsible for processing as many as 5,000 items per week, a process that includes dismantling, cleaning and decontaminating devices; identifying, inspecting and testing the functionality of surgical instrumentation; re-assembling and packaging sets of instruments and finally sterilising items before further use.

Whilst you may be familiar with the health and safety protocols specific to your organisation or industry, you may need further expertise to help decide on the best approach to finding a unit to meet your exact needs. Relocatable Building Solutions have been lending their expertise to organisations for over 20 years and we can help you from start to finish – ensuring that not only do you have a quality, professionally-installed decontamination unit but that, crucially, it is doing exactly what you need it to do for you.

Why not give us a call today to see how we can help drive your business forward with the best possible portable business solution, bespoke to your business.

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