3 Steps For Safely Removing Unmarked Chemicals From A Demolition Site

Hazardous waste barrel

Our top priority on every demolition project we're involved in is to keep everyone safe, which is includes our personnel, and anyone else that's on site, or in the surrounding community. This is done through proper execution of proven processes, safety training and education, and having the correct equipment and tools available. Safety begins well before we arrive on a demolition site, and continues throughout the project. One vital phase is before any demolition work begins, during a walkthrough and assessment of the structure and the site itself. This is where potentially hazardous materials can be identified and a plan can be put in place to remove these before work begins. On many jobs, we may find liquids and chemicals in unmarked containers. Here are the proper steps for safely handling and removing these potentially hazardous materials before demolishing a structure.


The first step in properly removing these materials is to assess the integrity of their containers. Leaks and cracks need to be found to determine the precautions that will need to be taken when handling the containers. A secondary containment area may be needed, as well as overpack containers for leaking liquids. Ideally, this step will be able to be accomplished without having to handle the containers themselves, but if handling is necessary, it's important all personnel coming in contact with the materials have the proper training and equipment.

Identify and Separate

The next step will be to identify the materials present if possible. Those that can't be identified will need to be stored separately in the containment area, while the materials that are identifiable can begin to be removed. However, if proper packaging, labeling, and disposal requirements for these chemicals aren't known, these materials will need to be stored in a different part of the containment area until safety data sheets are available. Because this step will require the handling of hazardous materials, it's important that workers have protection from absorption, inhalation and ingestion.

Unknown Products

Chemicals and liquids in unmarked containers may not be able to be identified, which makes it difficult to handle and dispose of them correctly. In some cases, testing may be required by a hazardous material facility to determine the contents of containers. Once the testing process is complete, and the materials are correctly identified, they can begin to be packaged, labeled and disposed of properly.Hazards and potential complications like these require experienced demolition contractors to ensure minor issues don't turn into major problems, or disasters.To learn more about our experience and capabilities at Demolition Technologies, contact us at 918-379-0966.