How Crime Scene Cleanup Services in Illinois Stay Safe from Blood-Borne Pathogens

December 28, 2016 3:46 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Blood is a fact of life when it comes to crime scene cleanup services in Illinois. That is the primary biohazard we need to handle when we attend to the scene of a homicide, suicide or unattended death. Hepatitis, HIV and other pathogens affect the safety of workers and people who live or work at the scene. Rest assured that, while we do not take these precautions as an insult against your friend or loved one, they are necessary to keep us safe. Here are five of them:

  • Training: There are no state or national requirements specifically for workers who clean up crime scenes, although there are general requirements for anyone exposed to blood during their work. Most of the education and experience is required by the company hiring workers for cleanup. We address blood-borne pathogens and procedures for avoiding them. We require workers to be familiar with their protective equipment. Workers also create exposure control plans, and many receive the hepatitis B vaccine as an additional precaution.
  • Making assumptions: We enter every cleanup job assuming blood is infected with something. This is not to insult the deceased, but to assure we remain protected throughout the work. It would be much worse to assume the best only to have one of our employees fall ill later. You will find the same practice in effect in the medical field for the same reason.
  • Keeping cleanup supplies: Our supply list is rather long, but contains necessary material. Disposable gloves, absorbent materials (like sand or cat litter) and disinfecting towels help clean blood and bodily fluids. We also keep a supply of disinfecting towels and biohazard bags with zip ties. Workers wear uniforms of caps, eye protection, protective gowns and a mask. Some jobs require specialized equipment, and we have that on hand too, if needed.
  • Disinfect vs. removal: Surfaces that absorb the fluids often need to be removed. These would include carpet, floorboards and older tiles. This is done not only as a precaution, but also to remove stains that serve only as a painful reminder. When we need to perform deconstruction, your insurance will finance replacement floors as well as our cleaning fees. If your floor or wall surface is not absorbent, we will likely disinfect thoroughly to be sure that pathogens are neutralized. Depending on the extent of the damage, we may disinfect an area up to three times.
  • Address furniture: Affected furniture often gets collected as crime scene evidence. If the victim died from a criminal action, do not be surprised if the investigators remove just about every piece of furniture or item they touched. However, if an item is considered insignificant or if we are cleaning up a scene after a suicide, handling furniture is up to us. Most of the time, we will dispose of it as biohazard waste unless it is salvageable.

Forensic Restoration Services is here for you when you need biohazard, hoarding, suicide or crime scene cleanup services in Illinois. Call us today so we can help you.

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