Biohazard cleaning is a niche business that some remediation companies choose to offer. We give you a look at what it’s all about by providing answers to ten specific questions.
Biohazards in homes are dangerous biological substances that can cause disease and, therefore, threaten human or animal health. These can include pathogenic bacteria, viruses, fungi, bodily fluids, feces, and chemical toxins.
Proper biohazard remediation ensures biosafety for humans and animals. Biosafety refers to freedom from exposure to dangerous, infectious biohazards. The only way to achieve this in a home setting is to make sure all biohazards are properly handled, removed and disposed.
The work can be challenging, but also immensely rewarding. Professional remediation is a way of positively impacting others by ensuring healthy, habitable living conditions
These are examples of what you might encounter if your restoration business specializes in biohazard cleanups:
The job of a home biohazard remediation company is to completely clean, sanitize and deodorize affected areas of a home. Some situations, such as a hoarder cleanup project, also require safe removal of items from a home before the cleaning process can begin. In fact, the magnitude of that task is often the reason why people seek out hoarder cleanup service professionals.
The demand is real. Biohazards can happen anywhere in anyone’s home. Yet, the general population is not trained or equipped to deal with these types of hazards. That’s why every community needs knowledgeable professionals who are willing and able to perform residential biohazard cleanups.
The biohazard cleanup business is also recession-proof. Crime, accidents, hoarding and other incidents will continue to happen year-round, and will require the services of a professional remediation company.
Typically, companies specializing in biohazard cleanups will make their services available around the clock. That’s because certain scenarios causing biohazards – such as crime, accident and death scenes – can happen suddenly, at any time of day or night. Quick deployment is essential when situations like these take place.
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No. Employees are not obligated to obtain a certificate to become biohazard technicians. However, restoration companies that wish to obtain certifications for their employees can do so through the American Bio Recovery Association. This organization offers a variety of peer reviewed third-party certification programs.
The goal is to consistently meet or exceed OSHA requirements for handling and disposing biohazard materials, and for using cleaning agents. This can be done by ensuring proper education and training, recommending vaccinations, and providing proper personal protective equipment (PPE). These actions reduce the risk of accidents and potential lawsuits, and may lower your business insurance costs.
In addition to the American Bio Recovery Association mentioned above, OSHA is another go-to source for any business seeking safety information and training for employees who will be working with biohazards. OSHA offers an array of resources and courses to help individuals become better knowledgeable about dealing with biohazard situations and handling biohazard waste. (For example, OSHA’s blood borne pathogen standard lays out specific requirements.) OSHA’s educational materials and training are beneficial for anyone who needs to understand biohazard risks and know how to handle those risks.
More helpful information can be found in the Restoration Industry Association’s publication titled Guidelines for Professional Forensic Restoration. These guidelines were developed by the Forensic Restoration Subcommittee of the Environmental Council and were peer reviewed by industry practitioners.
In addition, the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide excellent resources about emergency preparedness and self-protection. This fact sheet is one example.
Employees can benefit from getting appropriate vaccinations that provide added health protection (e.g., a tetanus shot or hepatitis B vaccination).
Proper PPE ensures the safety of workers by preventing hazardous material from entering the body through the eyes, airway, skin and hands.
A helmet and special footwear may be recommended as well, depending on the environment.
Overall, PPE must meet two objectives: It should provide enough chemical and biological protection to address the risk level and specific threats of the job. But it should also be comfortable enough to prevent overheating or restriction of movement.
The biohazard cleanup process is about rendering a property safe on a microscopic level. And that requires a company that is adept at doing it properly and safely. This presents a possible expansion opportunity for your restoration business. If you are interested in pursuing and profiting from biohazard cleanups, studying the information provided above is a good start. Then you can further explore this type of work to determine if it’s a good fit for your company.
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