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Written by
on 13 April 2012

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Films and TV programmes such as CSI have arguably glamourised the tough role of a crime scene cleaner. The position can be very demanding – both physically and mentally – due to the type of environment a crime scene cleaner will be working in.

For those who are unaware about what the role involves, a crime scene cleaner is responsible for the decontamination of any area where a serious crime has occurred. This could include a scene of a murder, for example, therefore it’s not a role for anyone who is faint of heart as you will be dealing with blood and human remains regularly.

Safety at Crime Scene Clean Up

As the work of crime scene cleaners involves decontamination, it’s a job that requires a lot of specialist skill and preparation. Although health and safety is paramount, crime scene cleaners aren’t required to undergo any form of specialised training for the role. Any crime cleaner should, however, arm themselves with knowledge of the sort of hazards they will be facing. Undertaking blood-borne pathogen training would be beneficial as anyone in the role is likely to be dealing with contaminated blood on a daily basis.

Before you’re ready to start cleaning it’s important to ensure that you are kitted out in protective safety clothing to prevent the spread of disease. A lot of nasty contaminants can be found at a crime scene, including fluids and form of decomposition and you certainly don’t want to be affected by any of them whilst working as a crime scene cleaner.

Unlike the world of CSI would necessarily have you believe, you will need to be wearing a full hazmat suit with gloves and also something to cover your face while performing crime scene cleaning. If not, then there is a real threat of contracting a wide variety of diseases and ailments at a crime scene.

Part of the role involves the knowledge of how to safely handle and suitably dispose of bio-hazardous materials found at a crime scene. Sharp materials and items such as weapons must be disposed of safely otherwise you risk the spread of infection or further injury and death.

The final consideration to take into account during the crime scene clean up process is any worker’s emotional welfare. Many people would find having to clean blood, body fluid, human bodies, decomposing bodies etc. emotionally overwhelming, even if they have received all the training required to excel in the role, so it’s important to take mental state into account while working as a crime scene cleaner.

About 

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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