It is a common misconception that crime scene and trauma cleaning is the responsibility of the police. However, this is unfortunately not the case. Regardless of the nature of the incident, and the scene that is left behind, the responsibility lays with the owners of the premises where the incident has occurred.
Given this, it is important to understand what trauma scene cleaning is, and what you should expect from such a cleaning service. Trauma cleaning services are provided by specialist cleaning teams that have experience and training in securing crime scenes, removing and cleaning bio hazards, including bodily fluids and returning the area to a state where it is fit for purpose again. Such industrial cleaning services may also include providing forensic support and sensitive waste removal. Trauma scene cleaning may be required after a range of incidents, including violent crimes, unexplained deaths, suicides, undiscovered deaths and accidents resulting in serious injury or death. Any of these situations require specific skills, experience and training to ensure the safety of the cleaning team and the safety of those in the immediate vicinity. Such cleaning teams also need to be able to work in environments that can be stressful, highly sensitive, and physically and emotionally difficult. Trauma cleaning teams need to be professional, discreet, flexible and thorough in their approach to the work. When choosing professional trauma cleaning services, there are several aspects you should consider carefully.
One of the key aspects to look for is training. Every member of the trauma cleaning team that attends your trauma or crime scene should have undertaken rigorous training. Check the training that has been offered and the awarding bodies that any certification has been provided by. Training should ideally include experiencing mock-up trauma scenes, viewing footage of actual scenes, and on the job experience. Trauma cleaning teams may at times also have to interact with friends, colleagues and relatives of deceased individuals. Therefore, training should also include guidance on how to cope with these situations, and how best to approach those affected by the incident. This is particularly important where the cleaning services after death include personal effects that need to be cleaned, sorted and returned to relatives. A clear and thorough understanding of Health and Safety legislation and its application to a trauma scene is also important. Such scenes often include a range of hazards from infected blood and other bodily fluids and waste, to broken machinery, trip hazards and hypodermic needles. You need to be assured that the team you employ knows how to deal with each of these hazards effectively, without putting themselves or others at risk. As part of this, you should also check that the company has the required biohazard cleaning and waste disposal permits, and permissions.
No two trauma scenes are the same, and each job requires a specialist approach, specific cleaning tools and the correct products. Therefore, it is important to choose the company you use carefully, and where possible to get recommendations based on the aspects listed above. While you want the scene cleaned quickly, you should not rush into using the first, or the cheapest trauma cleaning company you find.