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.
When the most unimaginable thing happens to a loved one this is who we turn to. It is very unfortunate that today we cannot even trust the people in this profession. There have been many crime scene cleanup companies that take advantage of the customer in this time of need by charging $10,000 plus for a job that could be done for a fraction of the cost. One of the things to look for; are they local not just providing service to your area. Many of them offer nationwide coverage but they do so by charging an outrageous amount, so they can fly to where the crime scene is at. Buy the equipment needed to do the job and fly back home. That is a big expense that gets passed onto you the customer. Most reputable cleaners will have all their equipment in a truck and will not take jobs they cannot drive to in a reasonable time. Instead they will refer you to someone in your area so that you can get this tragedy behind you and move on with your life.
This is not a job most people should take on themselves but if you have to do some research so that you are protected. Like be sure to wear a face mask, gloves, and clothes that hazardous materials will not easily soak through. There is a real danger of infectious diseases and viruses in crime scenes where blood and other bodily fluids are. Most hazardous items can be taken care of with bleach just spray it on and let it set for a few minutes. There are many other trade secrets to getting your home back to normal usually there has to be something to remove the odor and this takes other equipment. I pray that if you are reading this it is just for information and not because you do need this service. If you need help try to stay calm and talk to several cleaners before making a choice. I have researched this myself and there are companies available that truly care about you not just your money.
Google is a good place to start your search for crime scene cleanup or cleaners; Check for reviews and check with the better business bureau; Then contact the company and ask for phone numbers of previous clients. Be sure to find out if they are local or at least have a team in your area. If you feel they are just after your money your probably right so call someone else. A little research you can get a basic idea of how this process works so that you can ask specific questions to see if they actually know what they are doing.
The death of loved ones can come unexpectedly and can be caused by many different reasons. While most of us hope that family members or friends would pass away due to natural reasons such as aging or sickness, we should also be aware that there are about hundreds of deaths every month are related with criminal incidents.
This can be a shocking moment and no one looks forward to having this kind of experience. However, it can surely happen to anyone and this can be emotionally challenging for any individual.
Most of the time, hiring a professional crime scene cleanup team could somehow lessen the trauma. These services provide biohazard waste clean up assistance for crime-related deaths. Expert cleaners have the skill and knowledge regarding how to perform proper cleaning. For example, body decomposition can be quite risky for both the environment and health of those living in the home. With the use of the right tools and special lighting, blood, urine, feces, and other bodily fluids could be cleared from floor boards, furniture, or others. The risk here is that there are quite a number of diseases that could come if such fluids are not cleaned properly. The likelihood of acquiring HIV, Aids, Hepatitis MRSA, or any possible infections could be avoided by grieving family members.
On the other hand, a death caused by gunshot mostly means blood is splattered on the wall and floor. This is another case why hiring skilled specialists can be important because crime scene cleanup technicians know what it takes not only to clear the place but also do some necessary restoration work. Now this is the part where these professionals try to lessen the distress of families and individuals by making sure that the place becomes as spotless as possible.
Again, professionalism when dealing with these kinds of situation definitely plays a crucial part. Goggles, hazmat suits, rubber gloves, boots and other protective gear should be worn during the entire clean up process to decrease the dangers of direct contact with blood and body decomposition debris. Of course, most of the cleaners receive vaccinations in advance so they can be physically fit for the job.
Lastly, crime scene cleanup employees are mentally and emotionally trained so they can be capable in handling sensitive circumstances such as untimely or tragic deaths. They know how to deal with surviving family members and might even provide assistance to help (such as in insurance or investigation purposes) them with their specific needs.