Frequently Asked Questions
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There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there when you look for the right company in the industry. At Scene Clean we have built a solid reputation based off integrity and trust. Bottom line is, we work for you and not any insurance company.
Here are some common issues clients often ask us about and what you need to know to help make educated and informed decision on what is right for you;
- Are you a local company? Yes, we are local and based in Minneapolis. All our staff is local and we only have a service area we can handle. Our company is EPA lead certified, bonded, insured and hold OSHA required training for the industry as well as various other professional certifications and license. When you call us we are here and can respond quickly 24/7. Almost all other companies that work in Minnesota are based out-of-state. Those companies either send a crew who drive (or fly) hundreds of miles to get to you or they contract out a local company like ours and the cost reflects this in the end . We are Minnesota’s largest locally owned and operated bio-hazard specific company. Check out this blog post for additional questions and signs to look for when hiring a biohazard company. Always choose a company physically located in your state.
- When filing an insurance claim you need to know you have a legal right to choose ANY company to work for you. Most insurance companies have a “recommended provider” list which they will push you to use. The truth is, those companies are usually working at very cut rates and this often gets passed onto you in the quality of work they provide . You do not have to accept this as the norm. We also see this as a conflict of interest, any company who cuts their rates to then benefit by receiving a large volume of business on the back side is usually sacrificing quality over quantity and that’s not right. Using the company of your choice does not affect your policy and premium rates.
One way to protect yourself is by researching companies up front and picking one to help you file paperwork for the claims process on your behalf. Scene Clean is one of those companies that will help expedite the claims process for you. Beginning in October 2017 we bill insurance claims using industry standard software called Xactimate. The use of this software for invoicing and pricing on jobs helps expedite the claim and payment of the claim.
We always advise clients to speak with a public adjuster or an attorney of they have concerns about a claim and the adjuster. Stick to the hard facts when speaking with an adjuster and don’t give them any reason to deny your claim, the adjuster does NOT work for you. To an insurance company your claim is strictly business and you need to treat it that way as well. This link is to a great website by a public adjuster revealing some tricks used by insurance adjusters.
- Most companies out there are restoration companies whose primary income is through fire and water restoration. Bio-hazard remediation is done on the side to keep crews busy. Usually the technicians who come to your property to re-mediate bio-hazards only see a few cases a year and do not have the extensive knowledge behind what they are doing and why they are doing it.
At Scene Clean we are the opposite from these restoration companies. All we do is re-mediate bio-hazards. We understand the science behind what we do and why we are doing it. Our technicians are experienced professionals. We are the Minnesota’s largest locally owned bio-hazard professionals.
- Cleaning the surface will solve the problem. We have heard this so many times before and the fact is every scene is different and yes once an a while this holds true. However, most scenes that we clean have issues that go below the surface. Fluids typically run underneath floors and behind walls and those areas need to be cleaned properly as well as the surface. These hidden areas will require proper investigation, treatment and removal of the barriers blocking access to the materials we need to clean and re-mediate.
- What is your staffs experience level? Most of our staff has years of experience cleaning bio-hazards through public safety 911 experience. As public safety professionals we have logged thousands and thousands of hours cleaning up after traumatic events, more than any other company in the state. All of our staff combined has well over 100 years of experience and training such as HazMat, Blood borne pathogens, psychology, microbiology, PPE protection, disease processes, etc. This is on top of any OSHA training specific to this industry.
Give us a call first and we will help ease your mind and get you on the road to recovery.
Who pays for your services?
Most homes and commercial insurance policies cover the expense to restore the home and pay for the bio-cleaning decontamination of the area that was affected. Many times a homeowner will call and talk to a claims center and not know exactly how to explain the situation and may be told the service is not covered when in fact it is. Call us first and we can help you navigate the insurance process. We always work for YOU and not the insurance company.
When you first call us we will gather crucial information including contact and policy numbers for the insurance company and call them prior to sending out a response unit so you will know ahead of time what to expect. Most times all you owe Scene Clean is the amount of your polices deductible.
Any portion(s) of payment you are responsible can be made in several different ways. We accept Cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and we even have financing options such as 6 months same as cash DOC.
Can’t I just clean Bio-hazards myself of have my employees clean it?
Crime-scene clean-up has to be truly clean, not just apparently clean. There just simply cannot be any grey area in our industry, it’s either clean or it’s not. In addition to the infection that can result from bloodborne pathogens, any bodily fluids that remain in floors, carpets, baseboard or walls can lead to mold, bacteria and fungus, which can cause sickness months or years later.
There a great deal of State and Federal mandates that govern the bio-hazard clean up industry. There are also a number of risks for a business who chooses to perform bio-hazard clean up internally, including:
- Employee exposure to hazards that can cause numerous diseases and medical conditions. Among these are Critical Incident Stress Syndrome and Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Exposure can result in workers compensation claims and other liabilities.
- State and Federal mandates have been established regulating the collection, handling, and disposal of human bio-hazardous waste. Companies can face serious penalties for not adhering to these regulations.
The following excerpt has been provided by OSHA. “OSHA estimates that 5.6 million workers in the health care industry and related occupations are at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and others. All occupational exposure to blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM) place workers at risk for infection with bloodborne pathogens. OSHA defines blood to mean human blood, human blood components, and products made from human blood. Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM) means:
- The following human blood fluids: semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids.
- Any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead).
- HIV containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV or HBV containing culture medium or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV.
- Bio-hazardous Waste is Regulated. Special federal and state precautions are needed to ensure regulated waste is properly disposed.
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 as well as a written medical waste disposal 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 and maintain federal biohazard manifests
Non-compliance with 29CFR1910.1030 has resulted in OSHA fines ranging from $7,000 to $70,000.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
The following excerpt has been provided by OSHA.
“OSHA requires the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce employee exposure to hazards when engineering and administrative controls are not feasible or effective in reducing these exposures to acceptable levels. Employers are required to determine if PPE should be used to protect their workers.
If PPE is to be used, a PPE program should be implemented. This program should address the hazards present; the selection, maintenance, and use of PPE; the training of employees; and monitoring of the program to ensure its ongoing effectiveness.”
How long will it take and what are your prices?
Every scene is different and there is no way for us to tell over the phone how long it will take to remedy the situation. Sometimes even after seeing the scene we cannot be sure how long it will take as blood and body fluids can soak through floors and into walls leaving us no option but to remove the affected area. Some other considerations that affect the time on each job are;
- Location, upstairs or bottom floor
- Floor type
- Scene type, inside or outside, home or business
- Outside and inside temperature? Will our technicians will need to break as to not overheat while wearing the equipment.
- What happened? Was it a suicide with a .22 or a shotgun etc?
- Did blood soak under the floor and into the subfloor?
- How much regulated waste will there be?
Just like judging the time needed for each scene we simply cannot tell you how much the final cost will be over the phone. Even after seeing the scene there may be hidden factors as described above that may increase the time on the scene and therefore the overall cost. Our prices are within the industry standards for an exclusive CTS Decon company and our staff follows our industries ethical standards. For most homeowners the costs is that of their policies deductible.
The old saying, “you get what you pay for”could not be more true in our industry. One thing is for sure we are the best in the business and that is invaluable when it comes to proper cleaning of any bio-hazard scene. When we come to the scene we will be able to provide a written estimate based off the obvious issues, any findings after work has begun will be communicated to you.