Cleanup After a Death or Blood

Cleanup after a death or blood is not something most people are faced with handling very often or if at all. The reality is, it does unfortunately happen and when it does people are faced with many questions.

  1. Is it safe?
  2. What are the legalities of doing it myself?
  3. Should I do it myself?
  4. How do I do it properly?
  5. How do I get rid of the smell?
  6. How do I protect myself?
  7. Can I have my employees clean it?

Cleanup After a death or blood

These are all fantastic questions when facing cleanup after a death or blood. Lets go over some answers.

  1. Is it safe?
    1. Not really, microorganisms are everywhere. Blood borne pathogens are not just in blood, they are present in any human body fluid. Some human diseases can live outside the body for extended periods of time creating a biohazard that needs to be handled properly and with caution. It’s never really safe but there are ways to prevent cross contamination and exposure. more about that later.
  2. What are the legalities of doing it myself?
    1. This depends on the situation. If you’re an employer you need to take serious consideration on exposing the employees you are tasking with the cleanup and make sure you have provided the proper equipment and annual training for blood borne pathogens.  Annual? YES! ANNUAL!
  3. Should I do it myself?
    1. You certainly can, but think about all the other questions on this list. Certainly people clean up blood all the time, parents with small kids. Elderly friends and family that may have fallen and have a bloody lip etc. Life happens and those are situations that may be quick and easy to clean but you should still make sure you protect yourself from exposure by at least wearing gloves. For larger situations professional help may be required to make sure its done right. In our experience with large pools of blood on flooring surfaces, what you see on the surface is a small indication of what is below.  Cleanup after a death or blood other than a small amount is never something you should try by yourself. Always call a professional such as Scene Clean. Most jobs are going to be covered by your insurance policy.
  4. How do I do it properly?
    1. The first step is the remove the bulk of the fluids from the surface and dispose of it properly. This is where the legality of doing it yourself comes into play. It is illegal to throw away body fluids in the regular trash for the most part. Things like band aids, tampons etc are of course the exception to the rules but overall blood needs to be properly disposed of properly.
    2. The second step is to clean the surface followed by treatment with an approved disinfectant. Bleach is probably the most commonly know disinfectant chemical, but obviously using bleach on certain surfaces is not without its own issues and potential damages.
  5. How do I get rid of the smell?
    1. Some bodily fluids have odors associated with them. An odor is very tricky to eliminate and involves removing the source. Removing the source might included pulling up floors and walls. Treating the surface only after a decomposed body is simply will not work and will require professional remediation.
  6. How do I protect myself?
    1. PPE (personal protective equipment) should be used when handling any body fluid. PPE consists of anything that protects from exposure such as gloves, masks, goggles, and gowns. be slow and methodical when cleaning up body fluids, it is not the time to rush anything and risk splashing fluids into your eyes or mouth.
  7. Can I have my employees clean it?
    1. This is a question we get all the time. the general answer is NO unless…….
      1. Federal Regulation 29CFR1910.1030 states that no employer can expose an employee to cleaning blood or bodily fluids without first providing:
        1. Annual Blood borne pathogen training
        2. A written exposure control plan
        3. Personal protective equipment at no cost to the employee
        4. The opportunity to receive the Hepatitis B vaccine at no cost to the employee
        5. Receive exposure evaluation and follow-up
        6. A method to remove, store and dispose of bio-hazardous waste
        Non-compliance with 29CFR1910.1030 has resulted in OSHA fines ranging from $7,000 to $70,000.
      2. Tracking of federal infectious waste manifest is kept on file and stored for all disposed waste. MN law requires a biohazard waste disposal plan on file with the company.
    2. If you have employees cleanup even a drop of blood of body fluids there are specific federally required things that MUST be in place prior to cleaning up blood or bodily fluids. See above or our FAQ for more info.
    3. When and only when you have met all the above requirements can you even think about having an employee clean after a death or blood.
    4. One bonus thought for those who own rental properties. We get a lot of calls from landlords about cleanup after a death or blood and many of them follow the rules and do it properly or hire a company like Scene Clean properly trained to do the work. However, there is a good amount of landlords who do not want to spend the money to do the work with a professional company and do it themselves. This isn’t always a bad thing, but often times the landlord has maintenance person handle it or it is not done per regulations. Illegal disposal of infectious (medical) waste and exposure to untrained staff is illegal and comes with huge fines from OSHA. The other issue is tenants are looked at as though they are employees and exposing a tenant to dangers makes you potentially liable for issues that occur from improper cleanup after a death or blood.

As you can see there are some important things to remember and ask yourself when deciding how to handle a cleanup after a death or blood. The easiest solution is to call the Minnesota’s top blood cleaners at Scene Clean, Inc. and let us handle to job for you. We will bill your insurance company and are fully insured and certified where applicable. have it done right and let the professionals who do the work you should never have to do help you today.

Cleanup After a Death or Blood? Call now for help. 612-643-0911.

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