The police, fire department and crime-scene investigators who arrive at a crime scene perform crucial tasks in the aftermath of a death. But they don’t, as a general rule, clean up. The cleaning is ultimately left up to the family or loved ones. In the past, these types of cleanups would be washed up by a simple garden hose and towel, mopped up with household chemicals, or at the very best cleaned by the mortician.
In 1970, under President Nixon, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) was passed. Under this legislation, employers were to be held responsible for worker safety and their exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Although OSHA had regulation for employees contact and exposure, there was no agency to protect the home/business owners from improper cleaning procedures and illegal dumping of biohazardous medical waste. Throughout the years, OSHA and ADEQ have raised the standards for the Crime Scene Cleaning (CSC) Industry and filtered out unqualified construction, restoration, and carpet cleaning companies. As more and more of these companies stopped offering CSC because of the extensive training and compliance required by State and Federal agencies, a niche industry was born.
The CSC Industry is becoming a vital ally to police depts., fire depts., constables, property management companies, body shops, funeral homes and various state agencies, such as victims witness and homicide survivors. After a tragic incident, it is helpful to have someone unattached from the family clean the scene as it can create painful memories. Customers will have peace of mind that the scene is properly disinfected and free of any infectious diseases. CSC companies keep businesses OSHA compliant by preventing exposure of bloodborne pathogens to untrained employees.
Each state has their own rules and regulations for CSC companies. A CSC company must possess a contractor’s license from the State Registrar of Contractors. The contractor’s license is required because biohazardous waste cannot be removed from many common household building materials. For example, drywall, carpet, permanent fixtures, and other porous materials must be removed if contaminated. Secondly, a Biohazardous Medical Waste Transportation License from ADEQ or the use of a licensed waste transporter is required. Without this license, biohazardous waste cannot be properly disposed at certified facilities. CSC companies are also required to be OSHA compliant. This includes bloodborne pathogen (BBP) training, respiratory fit testing, and training, written BBP exposure control plan, and providing a method to remove and properly store biohazardous waste. Lastly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires companies to use EPA approved chemicals for the removal and decontamination of biohazardous waste.
The largest issue within the CSC industry is illegal dumping. Within the ramifications for transport, there is an underlying grey area. A company is required to possess a Biohazardous Medical Waste Transportation License or have a licensed waste transporter pick up the waste. Since most CSC jobs happen after the hour’s transportation companies are open, CSC companies who use a transporter and get a call after hours are faced with a decision. A) Pass the job onto a properly licensed company, or B) Illegally transport and dump waste. If biohazardous waste is illegally transported, it is usually illegally dumped. Proper disposal facilities will not accept waste from anyone other than a licensed transporter. Through the research of OSHA, ADEQ and EPA, we know the dangers of illegal dumping. Hepatitis can remain dormant for up to a year and is reactivated with just a drop of water. If biohazardous waste containing hepatitis is illegally dumped and made its way to a water supply, we could see a mass outbreak in our city.
Bio-Solutions Emergency Cleaning Services was created to be a guiding light in a dark industry. Not only do they possess all the required licenses, meet or exceed OSHA, ADEQ and EPA requirements, but Bio Solutions also extensively trains employees in grief counseling and trauma intervention.
Providing expert advice in blood cleanup should be left to people who are trained to handle blood. Some of the companies that have technicians with the most experience in this area are hazmat cleanup professionals. There are not a lot of companies that handle and are trained for dealing with blood borne pathogens and the other aftermath of a death or severe accident in which blood spill is found on a property. Just to name a few of the major health problems that can cause a lot of problems if untrained people attempt to cleanup the property or your place or office and blood are HIV, hepatitis, and MRSA, and STAPH infections. There are of course more problems than this and the health concerns with blood cleanup are just one of many reasons to seek professional help services.
Crime scene cleaners who handle this will also inform you that it is most important to have their help in dealing with any blood spill because of the bio-hazard makeup of blood and the decomposition that may of happened if their was a death in your property. These body fluids will soak into many parts of the home and property and it is important to have the right training to be able to know where to look and what to do in this case. For example, many times when blood cannot be properly cleaned up, you will have to removed the affected object. So in the case of a dead body, the seepage of blood into the floor boards may of caused a need to completely remove the flood and subfloor. This is not something to panic over though. With expert help many times just a small section will be removed. However each situation of blood cleanup tends to be a case by case scenario.
There is a lot of people trying to gain exposure in the crime scene clean up business, it is important to make sure that any company you hire is fully licensed and certified. The costs for crime scene cleanup vary from company to company but in many cases you can have their assistance in making sure your insurance will cover the cost. In most death related cases as well as in the case of accidental blood spill, the cleanup costs can be covered by insurance as normal property damage caused by unforeseen events, just like a snow storm.
Life doesn't go smooth always and we have to survive its vicissitudes in order to keep moving on. Coming across a painful situation takes a lot of courage and bravery, and when there is no way out, we have to deal with those circumstances very tactfully. But there is no doubt that it takes a lot of pain to face the traumatic events and so it takes in cleaning it up. Many situations can be termed as distressing incidents, but nothing is as messy and gory as death. Whether it is a murder or a suicide, it is not only very painful to tolerate, but also very difficult to clean up.
Clearing up a crime scene requires mental strength as well as physical capability as it involves cleaning and washing up the blood, bodily fluids, messy rooms, torn and dirty upholsteries and many kinds of harmful and potentially infectious materials or OPIM. Several incidents such as suicides, road accidents, mishaps in factories, homicides and infection through diseases require a good cleaning. On the other hand, murders, robbery and theft can be also categorized as crimes.
Whatever the situation is, at the end everything needs a good cleaning. Apart from the crimes, there are certain incidents which need a good decontamination. There are many crime and trauma clean up services who employ experts to clear the mess. Their work may involve-
Washing and disinfecting blood spots and stains from a room, door, walls, windows and furniture.
Sorting the materials in a proper order and cleaning the rooms.
Cleaning up the decomposed body and decontaminating the entire area after that.
The duties of the professionals who work as crime scene cleaners are quite difficult. To be very frank, cleaning a place where death has trolled recently, takes a lot of courage. Crime scenes and traumatic events need a good bio hazard cleaning in order to disinfect the entire area and to make it worth living again. The bio-hazard remediation which these experts execute includes disposing of the waste, regulated waste transportation and treatment.
People who are victims of such a traumatic situation know how mentally and emotionally problematic it is to clear the area where they have lost one of their own some couple of hours ago. Some decades ago, there were few companies that could handle the job of removing evidence of a fierce brutality. But today, there are thousands of crime and trauma clean up services who comprehend your condition and help you out by cleaning up the mess.
The people who have taken this work as their occupation witness death, pain, agony, suffering and aggression almost every day. Proper protection is required to keep themselves from getting infected.