Trauma Cleaning – What Does it Really Entail?

Posted by Edward Jonkler on August 9, 2021

Crime scenes or sites of trauma are messy, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve all seen crime scenes or fatal accidents on television, and when you think of the scene of a ‘trauma’ you probably think police tape, paramedics and police investigators gathered around looking sombre and speaking into walkie talkies. But what about after that? What happens when the police have gone and any fatalities have been removed by coroners? It is the job of crime scene cleaning technicians to enter the aftermath of the trauma and remove any evidence of it and make that place safe for public use, or even liveable again. These technicians have the enormous task of restoring the scene to its pre-incident state; this is known in the business as remediation.

Trauma cleaning is a very niche market within the cleaning industry, and one that requires specific training, expertise, equipment and insurance in order to be carried out safely and legally. In fact ‘trauma cleaning’ is the removal of dangerous substances, i.e. bio-hazardous waste, and is really less about actual ‘cleaning’ and more about making an area safe for public use again. Trauma cleaning includes suicides, natural or sudden deaths (such as road traffic accidents), forensic and crime scene cleaning, including the clean-up of substances such as luminal and fingerprint powder and bio-hazardous waste such as blood.

In fact, all bodily fluid is deemed as a biohazard, so anything such as blood, vomit urine or faeces must be removed swiftly and properly to ensure the area is safe again. Any of these fluids can pose a serious health risk to anyone who comes into contact with them, for example blood as a fluid could hold blood-born pathogens such as HIV or Hepatitis, and must be cleaned up as soon as possible. If there is a thumbnail-size bloodstain on the carpet, the chances are that there’s a meter-long bloodstain on the floorboards underneath it; this is heavy work and it requires meticulousness and the highest of standards. The area has to be ‘actually’ clean, and not just ‘apparently’ clean in order to be deemed safe again.

Whilst trauma and crime scene technicians are trained to clean up an enormous variety of situations, the most common scenes they are called in to address are suicides, accidents and ‘unattended deaths’ (i.e. decomposing bodies). The technicians will arrive at the scene with a huge array for equipment in order to be prepared for anything they may face. This equipment will include full PPE (including non-porous suits, gloves, filtered respirators and chemical-spill boots), biohazard waste containers and state-of-art equipment and chemicals (i.e. hospital-grade disinfectant).

Cleaning up a scene of trauma can take hours, even days if it to be done properly and safely. The time it takes will depend solely on the type of trauma and the amount of biohazardous material at the site. Every surface must be scrubbed, including ceilings, carpets, objects and upholstery. In some cases

carpets or upholstery may have to be removed if it is too damaged or blood-soaked to be saved. Our team at Remora can co-ordinate refurbishment and pest control if required. Every inch of the site must be restored to its pre-incident state and this takes, time, effort, sensitivity and expertise.

After the area has been cleaned any dangerous waste, the bio-hazardous waste must be removed in a licensed vehicle and safely and properly disposed of at a licensed site. Remora Cleaning is a licensed upper-tier hazardous waste disposal dealer and our technicians are trained to deal with hazardous waste safely, efficiently and responsibly and always in accordance with health and safety guidelines and environmental policies.

Our expert crime scene technicians at Remora have been trained by the National Academy of Crime to deal efficiently, meticulously and sensitively with crime scene cleaning and trauma cleaning. We understand that situations such as crime scenes or road traffic accidents can be traumatic and occur unexpectedly and we will always work with compassion and discretion. We can also offer hygiene testing services to leave you with peace of mind that the area has been properly sanitised. Our technicians have experience working to provide crime scene cleaning and trauma cleaning solutions for the police and local councils and are available 24 hours a day.