Not everyone is cut out to be working crime scene cleaning. Situations involving a Crime Scene Cleaning can be similar to Suicide Cleaning scenarios where you need nerves a steel and a strong stomach to take work that involves cleaning up human remains left after the body has been removed and the scene has been assessed by law enforcement team, medical examiners and forensic investigators. You can expose yourself to deadly chemicals, harmful viruses and bacteria. Crime Scene Cleaners are required to complete Hazmat and bio-recovery training courses on the hazards of cleaning human waste.
Due to the nature of the job, Crime Scene Cleaners don’t work the regular 9 to 5 job. They have to be on call weekends, weeknights and public holidays. Situations that require Crime Scene Cleaning can arise anytime and inconsistently. For employers, it is not efficient and cost-effective to employ technicians on regular hours like average desk jobs. You need to be on-call at any given moment, and can’t be out of town, intoxicated or unavailable for any reason.
Biohazard and Waste Clean-up
One of main activities of a Crime Scene Cleaner is the cleaning of human waste. You will be required to clean blood off walls and objects, removing entire carpets from the floor, carpeting and disposing of furniture. It can also include the removal of loose human remains the coroner has left behind. You must wear specialised protective gear regardless of the environment or temperature. Full body suits, long shirts and pants, latex gloves and full-face respirators are common practice, even in hot summer months in Australia. As a consequence, this can lead to exhaustion and heat stroke. For these reasons, Crime Scene Cleaners must be physically and mentally fit.
A common clean-up scenario is the cleaning of Meth Labs in which meth dealers and producers have been apprehended. What’s left at the scene are potentially toxic chemicals left at the scene, in the air and on surfaces, which require proper disposal. Training for Crime Scene Cleaners typically covers the personal protective equipment (PPE) you need to wear, how to handle hazardous chemicals, disposal methods and accounting for inventory. All substances found at a scene have to be considered hazardous, because they could be mislabelled by the occupants to conceal it from authorities.
Infectious Agents and Infectious Diseases
One of the most dangerous situations for a Crime Scene Cleaning Expert is to be called to clean a potentially infectious substance site. When dealing with infectious agents such as diseases transmitted with viruses and bacteria by simple contact, you must wear heavy protective gear, such as a Hazmat suit, double-filter respirators and chemical-spill boots. Your training covers respiratory protection, official communication channels, awareness of your personal space and labelling procedures. It is imperative that you follow every procedure thoroughly, or you risk infecting yourself and others.