Keep calm and carry on

03 September 2018

When it comes to emergency trauma and crime scene cleaning, calling in a professional cleaning service is imperative. Luke Rutterford, technical manager at Rentokil Specialist Hygiene, explains why

Empathy, resilience and professionalism: these are just some of the traits that are required for a job few would be willing to do. Trauma site cleaners deal with the immediate aftermath of an accident or crime. These professionals work in highly sensitive and often hazardous situations; from a suicide or a car accident, to the scene of a murder. While no specific qualification is required to join the industry, a high level of training is provided to ensure workers in this space can safely handle the unique challenges of different potential scenarios, and manage the emotional toll a role like this could place on them. 

It is often assumed that the emergency services will organise the clean-up operation in the event of an incident. However, it is typically the responsibility of the property or land owner to ensure the affected area is returned to its original state. In this worst-case scenario, knowing that a professional cleaning service is on hand to help can provide some small comfort.

Highly trained technicians

When it comes to emergency trauma and crime scene cleaning, it is imperative the service provided is rapid, discreet and comprehensive. Strict guidelines and legislation surround the cleaning of crime and trauma scenes. This is due to the possible presence of hazardous bodily fluids which can pose a health risk. Viruses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV are all transferred via bodily fluid so the thorough treatment of contaminated areas is essential.

A specialist operation requires technicians to receive training in the best cleaning practices and processes. On training courses our technicians are taught practical skills which are crucial in ensuring the safe cleaning of a trauma site, as well as protecting the health of the technicians themselves with personal protective equipment (PPE). Almost as important though, is the ability of our technicians to handle the often incredibly difficult emotional implications of these traumatic situations. Rentokil Specialist Hygiene offers training that not only covers the cleaning process but also equips our colleagues to deal with the general public, trauma victims and the emergency services. A high level of emotional intelligence is required to deal with members of the public in traumatic situations. 

We also have a deep understanding of the challenges that cleaning technicians may face while working on the frontline of our business, offering counselling 24-7 and support to colleagues.

Tools for the job

Aside from PPE, specialist equipment is required in order to manage the risk of infection and return the environment to a safe and clean area as quickly as possible. Technicians need access to the best technology for the job, including highly effective processes such as Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fogging. ULV fogging produces micro-droplets of disinfectant and biocides that float in the air for around 10 minutes after application. Dispersing these micro-droplets into the air means the applied solution is able to reach areas that might not otherwise be covered by conventional methods. Using these kinds of advanced decontamination techniques ensures that the affected area can be safely disinfected. Studies have shown that application by aerosol significantly reduces the number of viable infectious pathogens by treating surfaces and reducing the number of pathogens in the air. 

This type of fogging service can also include technology which ensures that the area smells clean as well, with a range of fragrances on offer.

Available 24/7

In the wake of a traumatic situation, it’s unlikely that one’s first thought is how to clean up. Emergency services have lifesaving priorities whilst any passers-by or witnesses will understandably have other concerns. However, with potentially bio-hazardous waste exposed, managing the scene and mitigating the risk of further fallout is crucial in preventing a bad situation from getting worse.

Rentokil Specialist Hygiene’s Restore24 service for example guarantees that technicians will be able to provide a 24-7 expert disinfection service that will ensure the area is safe, free from infection and that hazardous materials are disposed of rapidly. Specialist technicians operate on an emergency call out rota and are able to travel to a site anywhere in the UK very quickly.