Q: How do you recognize a competent
A: As in any profession, quality varies.
A competent bio-recovery service will operate vehicles that are designed for the
job. Its technicians will be professional in attitude and appearance. These
technicians will be sensitive to the nature of each scene and the people around
them. They will work closely with the property managers to reduce the emotional
stress related to the scene, discourage publicity and be helpful in assuming as
much of the role of dealing with the insurance company as possible. A competent
company will be knowledgeable of disease, pathogens, sanitizers, disinfectants,
sterilants, deodorants, techniques, devices, and regulations to help them to
successfully deal with each unique situation. Using special equipment,
chemicals, and protective suits, these specialists isolate, clean, disinfect
each surface, and decontaminate properly. Upon completion, the collected waste
is properly contained, labeled and transported for appropriate disposal at a
medical waste-handling facility.
Q: What questions should be asked to help in selecting a bio-recovery
A: Are they members of ABRA? (American
How long have they been in business?
Will they work with the property owner's insurance?
Will they handle all the insurance paperwork for the property owner?
Are they insured?
Can they provide documents proving destruction of any biohazardous waste that
has been generated?
Can they provide the name of their medical waste disposal facility?
Can they provide references?
Q: Can I have an employee of my business clean the scene?
A: Federal Regulation 29CFR1910:1030
states that no employee can be placed in a position to be exposed to blood
spills without first:
1. Receiving bloodborne pathogen training.
2. Having a written bloodborne pathogen exposure control plan.
3. Having been provided with personal protective equipment.
4. Having been offered a Hepatitis B vaccine and exposure evaluation and
5. Being provided with a method to remove and properly store the biohazardous
waste in a properly marked container for disposal at an approved site.
Penalties for violation of the standard are severe and the employee may also
file a workers’ compensation claim in addition to filing a lawsuit.
Q: Is the use of a professional crime scene clean-up company mandatory by
law when the scene is a private home?
A: It is not mandatory in all states,
but it is recommended. By using a professional crime scene clean-up company such
as Crime and Death Scene Cleaning, the likelihood of adding further trauma to
the victim or family with the task of cleaning up the aftermath is eliminated.
Infectious pathogens and odor causing bacteria are removed following the strict
guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and OSHA.
Q: Why should a professional bio-recovery company be called to do the
clean up? Why not just do it myself or call a janitorial service?
A: Most mop and bucket cleaning services
personnel are not trained or equipped to handle biohazardous wastes such as
blood or bodily fluids. Also, the possibility that other hazardous materials may
be encountered during the clean-up process is possible. Removal of biohazardous
waste is dangerous. Without being able to determine which spill is infected with
disease, extraordinary precautions must be taken. If a company is not properly
equipped with special training, precautions, equipment and protective suits, an
individual or employee could pick up a contaminant of disease or chemical
hazards, and unknowingly spread it to his or her family.