When someone dies at home, whether by natural causes, suicide, or homicide, the family members often need help in a variety of areas. The grieving process starts, the funeral arrangements need to be made, and questions often arise as to the property left behind.
Insurance adjustors can play a vital role in recognizing that a proper biohazard property cleanup may be necessary in these situations. As gruesome as it may seem, the decomposition of a body following an unattended death, or the spread of blood and bodily fluids in any death situation, can pose serious health risks to those around. Improper cleanup can also affect the integrity of the property, allowing a breeding ground for insects and other pests.
Not all cleaning companies are qualified for such clean up scenarios. To prevent further liability, a knowledgeable insurance adjuster often contracts the assistance of biohazard professionals. These teams know the right cleanup and disposal methods for bloodborne pathogens and other decontamination procedures necessary for full sanitization.
What to look for in property cleanup professionals
There is extensive training required to comply with local and governmental safety requirements in such situations. An understanding of building construction also helps to prevent further contamination.
OSHA Standards – As a minimum, vendors for biohazard cleanup should be regularly trained in a variety of OSHA programs. These can include: Bloodborne Pathogens, Personal Protective Equipment, Hazard Communication, Asbestos Awareness, Heat Illness, Fall Protection, Lift Safety, Lock Out – Tag Out, and Power Tool Safety.
EPA Standards – They should also be licensed to transport and dispose of medical waste, or contract with a licensed facility. The Environmental Protection Agency and each state has strict guidelines which must be followed for the safe transport and disposal of material that contains medical waste.
Standardized Processes – Properly trained individuals will follow a specific protocol, depending what is discovered at the scene. They will know which chemicals or disinfectants to use, how to extract, contain and remove infected bedding, flooring, or walls, and how to post-test to prove contaminants have been removed.
Sometimes referred to as biohazard remediation, these specialists will first inspect the areas affected and conduct a safety assessment of the scene. The area will be controlled and secured to prevent cross-contamination. Next is the removal of all blood and biological materials from the area, knowing the specific requirements for containment and disposal. The cleanup, disinfectant, and deodorizing stage follows, using EPA-rated materials. Special measurement equipment during the final testing ensures that contaminants have been removed.
Building Integrity – A qualified remediation expert with construction skills understands that multiple layers may require treatment. A pool of blood soaked through the carpeting also affects the padding beneath, as well as the flooring, sub-floor, and joists in some situations.
Sensitivity Training – The situation demands a special type of professional who can empathize with the emotional rollercoaster that family members may be experiencing. Showing compassion during communication with the family and in handling possessions at the scene helps in their healing process.
A qualified biohazard professional works with insurance adjusters to quickly process the situation and resolve claims. Contact ServiceMaster Restoration by All-Action for trauma cleanup.