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.
The manager of the large department store was tired. With just three days before Christmas he had been working fourteen hours per day minimum since the day after Thanksgiving. His feet were killing him and he was worried his store total sales would not reach last years figures. He needed to have three brisk days of business. At 8:30 p.m. he got a call from security that a shoplifting was in progress over in the computer and games department. As he approached the section he saw two of his security guards seek to physically apprehend the suspect. Fortunately they were behind an aisle that could not be observed by other customers at that point in time because customers were dispersed elsewhere.
As he got closer, he saw the perpetrator pull out a knife and stab one of the guards. He ran over and assisted the other guard literally tackling the man wielding the knife and immediately called his assistant manager to get emergency medical help and direct that they come around to the back of the store. He then called 911 and requested the police do the same. By 8:40 they both had arrived and the injured security guard was lifted on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. Further the police arrested the shoplifter.
His big problem now was getting that part of the store back into the shape necessary for it to be open to the public by the next morning and to be able to state unequivocally that there is no undue health risk that would result from shopping there. The police officer had recommended he call a blood scene cleaner company or trauma scene cleaner company. The company he called also did crime scene cleanups, accident scene cleanups, homicide scene cleanups, suicide scene cleanups, meth lab cleanups, odor removal cleanups and death scene cleanups not to mention staph infection scene cleanups so they were well suited for the task.
The person at the company with whom they spoke understood the gravity of the situation and the time constraints under which they had to operate. They sent out a crew that arrived about ten thirty p.m. and cleaned and decontaminated the affected area of the store by 2 a.m. As the manager lay down to get two or three hours of sleep before the two busiest days of the year he was able to sleep well because he had learned his security guard was fine and he knew his computer and games department would be open and immaculate in the morning.
Those working in UK sewers have some rather unpleasant smells (and sights) to deal with on a daily basis. Sewers often get blocked with human waste and cooking fat, amongst other things, which then has to be manually flushed through in order to clear. In 2010, 'flushers' were sent to London's Leicester Square, where they dug out more than 1,000 tonnes of fat. Sewage workers need to be equipped with full protective gear as well as breathing devices. It's estimated that sewage workers in London alone clear more than 50,000 blockages every year.
Portable Toilet Cleaners
Many of us despise using portable toilets at festivals and other events, let alone having to clean them. But imagine just how disgusting the portable toilets would be if they weren't cleaned! Vacuum tankers are normally used to empty the contents of the toilets, but once they are emptied they then have to be cleaned out with a mop and bucket, including any spillages or accidents. Cleaning a portable toilet only takes a couple of minutes but can be quite tricky as the units tend to move about and even tip over.
Hate taking out your rubbish for when the rubbish collectors come? Imagine going around the streets collecting leaking bin bags and rubbish that's been torn apart by foxes. The smell of rotten food and other rubbish items must cause quite a stench, especially during the warmer months. Dealing with the rubbish is one thing; another is dealing with impatient drivers as they crawl behind the rubbish truck!
Crime Scene Cleaners
Crime scene cleaners have to see some truly horrendous scenes as a result of homicide, suicides and fires - definitely not for the faint-hearted. Depending on how bad the scene is, the cleaning could take anything from a few hours to a few days to finish. Cleaning activities could range from clearing blood splatters on a wall to fragments of bone and body pieces everywhere. As well as being a dirty job, this job can also be particularly distressing with a lot of workers developing stress disorders.
Pest Control Specialists
Would you like to be tasked with facing cockroaches, fleas, wasps, rats and other pests on a daily basis? Definitely not a job for anyone afraid of creepy crawlies! A pest control specialist's job would involve eradicating pests but also putting in preventative measures. It's always best to call out a pest control specialist rather than trying to tackle the issue yourself.