Biohazard Remediation

What is biohazard remediation?

Biohazard remediation contractors are often referred to as crime scene cleaners, but the job entails much more than cleaning up after a death. Since the contractors are tasked with removing any type of biohazardous waste, they often get called to the scene of car wrecks, fights and accidents in the workplace. Additionally, biohazard cleaners will remove animal infestations, clean up animal feces and homes where hoarding has occurred.

A biohazard remediation contractor is not a coroner, and will not remove a body from the scene of a death. Instead, the contractor will come in after the coroner has removed the body and restore the scene to its original condition. The job revolves around containing the biological matter, preventing it from spreading and eliminating it completely.

Hazardous disposal trainees at the Environmental Management Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Biohazardous techs are trained to clean up large amounts of blood and human decomposition to prevent health risks. (Photo by Steve C. Mitchell)

When to call a biohazard remediation service

A biohazard remediation contractor should be called for the following situations:

• Deaths in the home or workplace

• Gross filth removal

• Trauma scenes

• Car accidents

• Feces removal

• Animal infestations

• Hoarding removal

• Human decomposition

Hiring a biohazard remediation company

Biohazard remediation is a fairly new industry and it doesn't have a a lot of regulation. Only California and Florida require state licenses for biocleaning companies. The united States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers a Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response certification (HAZWOPER) that teaches biocleaning companies how to properly clean and remove biohazardous waste, power tool use and how to safely work in confined spaces. Most credible biohazard remediation companies require their employees to obtain the HAZWOPER certification.

Many auto and homeowner insurance policies cover the cost of clean up after a suicide or accidental death, although the cost may be less than your deductible. There also are programs that offer financial aid to families who need who qualify for the biocleaning services and financial assistance. Some disaster clean up companies will offer to file a claim on your behalf with the programs to pay for hazardous cleanup services. Ask about insurance coverage and financial assistance when you call to set up a consultation with a biohazard remediation contractor.

Questions to ask a biohazard remediation company before you hire

1. How long have you been in business?

2. Do you have experience in the type of cleaning I need?

3. Do your employees have the proper training? Do they have the HAZWOPER certification?

 (Photo by Doug McSchooler / Angie's List)
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