The truth is, there is nothing as stressful and overwhelming as dealing with the discovery of an unattended death, suicide, or a crime scene. In addition to that, there are a great amount of risks that are associated with such a scene that can’t be ignored, under any circumstances. The presence of blood, bodily fluids, and bloodborne pathogens poses a significant threat to people’s health. According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, it is important to have the right procedure in place for cleaning blood and body fluids. At Biohazard Cleaning PRO, our specialist forensic cleaning team follows the strictest industrial protocol, so as to ensure that we decontaminate the entire scene thoroughly and safely.
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In accordance with the HSE guidance, we carefully assess the potential biohazardous risks as well as infection risks when dealing with the deceased. Our standard risk assessment includes:
- identify the hazards and how the activities, processes or microorganisms could cause harm to health
- the condition/presentation of the deceased;
- which microorganism(s) may be present;
- the routes of transmission (ie airborne, droplet or contact) and their infectious dose;
- the clinical history of the deceased;
- the prevalence of particular infections in the community;
- the nature of any likely contact with the body, including the amount of leakage and potential contamination of clothes, equipment or contact with blood or body fluids;
- the susceptibility of individual people working in the premises;
- the severity of the disease(s);
- health surveillance and immunisation available for staff undertaking the task (ie whether prophylactic treatments are available).
- decide who might be harmed and how
- the task being undertaken and how levels of contamination may change;
- where the task will be carried out, including the local layout and a practical route for movement of work and people;
- whether the task could create aerosols, splashes or will require the use of sharps;
- what equipment will be used, whether equipment is shared and how it will be decontaminated;
- who will carry out the task and whether they are part of any vulnerable group;
- whether others could be affected by the task;
- whether the work is routine, one-off, undertaken out of hours and/or by lone workers;
- how much infectious material (ie body fluids) is being handled;
- how many people are exposed.
Tools and Equipment
We select appropriate protective equipment and clothing based on the nature of the risk. All single-use clothing is disposed as clinical waste - biohazards; reusable tools and equipment are properly decontaminated after use. Our standard tools and equipment include:
- heavy-duty overalls that
- have no external pockets or Velcro fastenings
- are bought one size too big, to prevent seams ripping during removal work
- are worn with an attached fitted hood (worn over respirator straps) and disposable gloves
- are disposed of as clinical waste after a single use
- the cuffs are sealed with tape
- the legs are worn over footwear to prevent dust falling into shoes.
- waterproof trousers and jackets;
- working boots with toe and sole protection;
- At the end of the removal work, safety footwear must be:
- double bagged (if being used at another site), or
- disposed as clinical waste.
- waterproof heavy-duty gloves;
- single-use gloves are worn
- disposed of as clinical waste after use
- a standard construction site helmet (hard hat);
- respiratory protection (half-face filter respirators):
- fitted with the highest efficiency filter possible (FFP3) and provide a protection factor of at least 20 to control exposure of microorganisms down to the lowest levels.
- a Class P1 disposable respirator
- a Class P2 disposable respirator
- a respirator fitted with a Class P1 filter cartridge
- a respirator fitted with a Class P2 filter cartridge.
- a face visor, in case there is a likelihood of splashing
- only manually operated hand tools are used to clean biohazardous materials
- If necessary, specialised Type H vacuum cleaners are used.