Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Trauma Scene Clean Ups
Thursday, March 11, 2021
by: Barry Garson, J&M Keystone Restoration

Section: Trends and Tips

Trauma scene cleanup is a vague term that can cause some confusion about exactly what it entails.  It is a term used to cover many situations that are not all traumas. A biohazard remediation is the removal of anything that involves handling blood, bodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials. They are not all the result of a violent crime, trauma or death. Many things can create a need for this service, including a fight, suicide, or someone who cuts themselves and bleeds on a property. No one likes to talk about this, but someone defecating or urinating on your property can also be defined as a trauma scene clean up.
The company or team chosen to clean up a biohazard can lead you and the property owner into a minefield of liability issues and health risks for your tenants, employees and the public. Whoever does the remediation must be careful to protect themselves from biohazards during the cleanup process, and prevent spreading the pathogens. This type of remediation is usually outside the expertise of your in-house maintenance staff or janitorial firm. There is just too much that can go wrong and a great deal of liability exposure. Hepatitis, HIV and COVID-19 are very real diseases that one can be exposed to when cleaning up bodily fluids or biological matter. Many people mistakenly believe that if the mess is outside, it can just be mopped up or hosed off. However, water or bleach do NOT effectively remove the dangerous pathogens.
Here are some examples of how long pathogens can remain infectious: 
  • MRSA can live for up to 7 months on surfaces
  • HIV can live for up to 6 days in blood
  • Hepatitis A can live for months in fluids
How to choose a Trauma Scene / Biohazard company:
  1. Make sure the company you hire is fully licensed and insured to provide Trauma Scene Cleanup, which can protect you from any potential liability.
  2. Confirm the technicians are Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification).
  3. Ensure the company will fully comply with OSHA, State and Local regulations. 
  4. Make sure odor removal is part of the service the company provides.
  5. Always get at least a verbal quote before the company starts, so there are no surprises when you get the invoice.
Again, having your in-house maintenance staff or janitorial firms handle this type of issue at your property can present a large liability and health risk, both to your staff and tenants, if not done correctly.
It is crucial to have an IICRC certified firm clean things up to ensure the area is safe for your employees and the public. Preparation is the key to success. Be proactive and have a plan in place with a reputable company so they can respond quickly and clean things up safely.
Thank you to J&M Keystone Restoration, a 2021 BOMA San Diego Annual Supporting Partner, for providing this educational content.