What Are The Regulatory Requirements for Cleaning Crime Scenes?
Crime scene cleanup is an essential part of the process of restoring a crime scene environment and making it safe for habitation. The cleaning of crime scenes is not officially a regulated industry, yet there are regulations, restrictions and guidelines for crime scene cleanup staff to follow that ensure that rigid public safety standards are met. There are several agencies that are responsible for overseeing the protocols, namely, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Any company that offers crime cleanup services would be recognized by the above organisations as being capable of carrying our necessary cleaning at crime scenes, while the company itself would have a rigorous training program to ensure that all their employees meet the very high standards that this type of work demands.
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Crime Cleanup Companies
In the US, there are certain crime cleanup companies who operate across the country and their staff are specifically trained for this type of work. Crime cleanup technicians undergo special training and encounter horrific scenes that might arise from the following scenarios:
- Unattended Death
The crime scene cleanup company would also be called in to eliminate risks from a tear gas infected area and render the environment safe for habitation and that means removing all traces of the harmful chemicals.
This type of work does not suit everyone, due to the traumatic scenes that one is likely to encounter, not to mention dealing with the people who are directly affected by the incident, the owners or occupants of the property. The cleanup company do sanitize the entire room where a trauma has occurred, yet they do not clean carpets, which are disposed of in a safe way. Items such as bedsheets, blankets and items of clothing are also disposed of, while the floors and walls are cleaned using special chemicals that break down the blood pathogen. The cleanup process is very thorough and the technicians wear special protective clothing while at work and due to the nature of such incidents, the company would have mobile teams who provide a round-the-clock service 365 days a year.
When cleaning up blood or human waste, the technician is always aware of the potential danger from bloodborne pathogens and is required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), the technician would be competent in the use of many different products used to sanitize a trauma scene. Bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted from person to person, such as hepatitis and HIV, therefore great care must be taken when cleaning up blood or other bodily fluids.
Crime scene cleanup technicians are what is known as second responders and would be called in when the police have finished collecting the required evidence and in many cases, they have to comfort family members before and after the cleanup process. If, for example, a person took their own life at the family home, the crime scene cleanup technicians would be called in as soon as possible and in such situations, family members are still in a state of shock and a high level of compassion is required when entering the affected premises and carrying out the cleaning.
Safe Removal of Biohazardous Materials
This is the primary role of a crime scene cleanup technician, who would thoroughly disinfect the area to ensure that all biohazardous materials are safely removed, Certain items would not be cleaned, rather they would be bagged up and incinerated and it is a time consuming task to completely clean the trauma scene, while great care must be taken by the technician to ensure they have completely removed all biohazardous materials and the property has been thoroughly sanitized.
Should you ever require the services of a crime scene cleanup company, an online search would be the best place to start and by dealing with an established company that is accredited and recognized by regulatory bodies, you can be sure the cleanup will be carried out promptly and effectively, allowing you to safely occupy the property. Typically, the cleanup company would have a network of branches and would cover several states or perhaps a region of the US.