biohazard remediationCrime Statistics: Chicago

Chicago is the largest city in Illinois with a 2010 population of 2,833,640, saw their robbery rates decline by 10.5% in 2009 rates were at 15,877 and fell to 14,213 in 2010. Chicago’s property crime rate on fell 30%, while the majority of the other crime categories were alongside such as their burglary incidents with a reduction of 1% from 2009–2010.

Trauma Economics (Biohazard Remediation)

(see eBook for full chapter and photo explanations) The economics surrounding cleaning and restoring an environment affected by a traumatic event not only include the inputs required to complete these projects but also the pressures of the environment that impede progress towards project completion. Inputs such as labor, chemicals, regulated biohazard medical waste, equipment, personal protective equipment, and conventional waste are relatively easy to track and to communicate during the accounting process. These inputs are ultimately found in the billing process. The pressures of the environment affected by a traumatic event are easy to describe but difficult to quantify when projecting costs during a bid process.

When assessing a project such as a shotgun suicide, decomposition on furniture, or a gross filth affected property, the affects of the traumatic event make it difficult to project costs due to components of the contamination. Blood and body fluids migrate through layers of carpet and pad or tile (and sometimes through the sub floor), as well as, layers of the materials used to construct furniture, a mattress and box spring, and/or personal belongings. On gross filth and hoarding projects, the sheer volume of the trash and belongings and the associated residual odor contribute to the difficulty of projecting costs to complete the remediation.

A project bid is produced after directly assessing the environment by taking pictures and/or notes in regards to the contamination present and the concentration of this contamination across surfaces and materials and then estimating the inputs needed for remediation. This direct assessment is the most refined approach when producing a project bid due to the fact that the contractor who is responsible for the remediation’s completion is also projecting the inputs. During the direct assessment, the contractor can lift a mattress, peel back carpet, move furniture, and/or experience the odor produced by the traumatic event in order to project the amount of inputs required to complete their job. Property managers or owners may take a look at the affects of a traumatic event on their property and communicate what they see to the 3rd party contractor who will eventually remediate the environment. This indirect assessment is often used to get a general idea of costs from the 3rd party contractor over the phone or email. In both the direct and indirect assessment of traumatic event remediation, there are unknowns to those assessing the environment.

These unknowns include but are not limited to the extent of the contamination plume penetration through layers of material, the difficult task of odor removal in a structure or vehicle, the volume of affected material, and local residents, family of the deceased, or transients that may impede progress during remediation. Experience in cleaning these traumatic events such as suicides, decompositions, meth labs, and gross filth affected property tends to reduce the unknown factors affecting cost projection. Each project is different and offers its own obstacles to remediation completion.

Project Inputs

Labor is one of the most significant costs as a component of traumatic event remediation. The skilled labor used to respond to the affects of a traumatic event has training requirements (such as OSHA’s 1910.1030 Bloodborne Pathogens and 1910.132 Personal Protective Equipment) that must be understood not only in concept but also in its application. The hazards found on these traumatic event remediation projects are very real. Each person who takes part in the remediation must understand the combination of sharp edges (needles, broken tile, mattress springs, and cutting tools) and potential bloodborne pathogens. This understanding is also mandatory in relation to the containment of the biohazard waste produced by the scene. In addition to the hazards associated with puncture risk, there are also the risks of moving large items such as furniture down stairways in order to remove them from the property. Each technician that performs the labor component must also comprehend the safe use of all tools deployed, function of needed equipment, the chemicals utilized to disinfect and deodorize, and the proper containment and transport of regulated biohazard medical waste.

Outside of bloodborne pathogens, technicians must also understand and respect the hazards associated with methamphetamine lab and concentrated tear gas residue. One of the most important tasks a technician can perform is the proper application of personal protective equipment (PPE). The proper PPE needed for the project is vital to the health and safety of the technician using it. Without the proper PPE, the technician is potentially exposed to risks that could have been mitigated with the use of the PPE needed for the specific task. Technicians must also be aware of the hazards associated with a confined space when working. OSHA’s 1910.146 Confined Space standard addresses this point but a constant awareness of one’s surroundings is required when moving around a project with many inherent safety risks.

Chemical disinfectants, odor neutralizers, conventional cleaners, and paint are employed to rid the environment of potential pathogens, residue, stains, and odor. OSHA standard 1910.1200 Hazard Communication’s scope addresses the hazards associated with the numerous chemical substances applied during traumatic event remediation and the need to inform those who use these chemicals of the hazards associated with each. The Hazard Communication standard dictates the requirements for container labeling in addition to the production of a material safety data sheet (MSDS) to inform those who use these materials of the exposure risk. Equipment such as atomizing chemical foggers are used to distribute chemicals in a very fine aerosol in order to apply the substance across exposed surfaces of the contaminated environment and HVAC system.

In addition to the chemical foggers, HEPA-filtered air scrubbers are often employed in traumatic event remediation in order to improve air quality through filtration, as well as, circulate and evacuate the affected atmosphere in the structure. A shop vacuum is often needed to recover dust and debris in addition to broken glass. In order to respond to traumatic events and complete the remediation projects, a vehicle with all the needed tools must be available to transport the required equipment and house the waste recovered from the scene once contained.

Project Input Pricing

Every market has different conditions that affect pricing. The labor rate paid to technicians, the rental or lease rate for a facility, the rate charged for biohazard waste treatment, and the rate for fuel is different in each metropolitan area and the surrounding region. This difference in input costs for the associated component of labor, rent, fuel, and waste disposal translates into varying total billed costs when compared across regional areas. In addition to different billing rates for components across regions, each company chosen to complete the work may have various billing components.

For example, one company may bill for items such as a Job Set-Up and Job Demobilize fee, $200-$375, when another company may not include such charges in their billing. The high-risk hourly labor rate for a biohazard technician can range from $150 to $300 based on the company providing the services. Additional high-risk labor rates may be included in this range, or slightly above, for supervisor hourly billing. In addition to this high-risk labor rate, many companies may break their labor rate down into a medium-risk, $60-$95, and a low-risk labor rate, $35-$55.

This labor rate scale based on risk allows companies providing services to bill at different rates based on the risk associated with the task assigned. If a project has different components that can be segregated based on risk, the contractor or company providing the services can carve out each segment of the project and assign the proper labor rate. Often, when cleaning a human decomposition or a large volume gross filth-affected structure, one or more portions of the structure may be less affected by the contamination. When preparing a project bid for services that clearly have segments that contain different risk profiles, the labor rate associated with each segment can be billed separately.

Decomposition Remediation (major steps below for economic discussion, see case studies for detailed remediation steps)

1. Apply PPE.

2. Prepare chemicals and apply initial odor treatment and disinfectant.

3. Recover blood-affected materials and contain in medical waste boxes with absorbent material for fluid retention, this is a sharps hazards area due to mattress springs and connections.

4. Contain and segregate conventional waste in preparation for disposal.

5. Disinfect entire area.

6. Cut away layers of affected material until you reach the edge of the biological contamination plume.

7. Contain and segregate medical waste

8. Segregate cleaned, salvageable items

If all of the labor hours associated with this project are billed or included in the project bid at high-risk, then the projected costs will clearly be too high. The ability to bill the lower-risk labor hours at a lower rate for conventional cleaning tasks gives the contractor pricing flexibility in the project bid. This is only true if the contractor can accurately segregate the high-risk portion of the project and is reasonably close on high-risk projected inputs in the project bid when compared to actual inputs.

Should the contractor preparing the project bid underestimate the high-risk portion of the project, the contractor has put himself or herself at risk of losing money due to a bid amount they have committed to with higher costs than projected. Supplies and consumables, biohazard regulated medical waste disposal, equipment needed, fuel, and conventional waste disposal are also a part of the inputs that have to be estimated for a total projected cost supporting the project bid. Supplies are usually billed by the contractor on a per unit basis and high-grade disinfectants and deodorizers are often billed at around $35/quart.

Personal protective equipment can be billed by the line item or a flat rate per technician of approximately at $95/day/tech. Equipment charges to the customer from the contractor can also vary in a charge per piece of equipment used or a flat rate per day, $250-$500, for all equipment deployed on the project. Conventional waste can be billed on a per load basis (approximately 5 cubic yards) for a range of $150 to $300 or the volume of conventional waste could require the use of a roll-off dumpster. Roll-off dumpsters are often seen at construction sites and vary from 20 cubic yards to 40 cubic yards. These dumpsters have a billing cost range of $500 to $1,000 based on the area that the 3rd party disposal company is located in. Biohazard regulated medical waste can vary greatly in price due to different-sized containers the waste is captured in preparation for transport to the disposal facility.

Many traumatic event remediation companies offer a cardboard biohazard box (17”L x 14”W x 20”H) that can hold around 35 pounds maximum. This capacity is often billed at $200 to $400 per box based on the market and if the contractor is a licensed biohazard medical waste transporter in their state. Other companies may offer a reusable 50 to 150 gallon capacity container for housing biohazard-affected material and the price is higher associated with this larger capacity.

Biohazard Remediation Case Studies Samples and Laminated Reference Guide

Biohazard Remediation ebook (83 pages)

osha training crime scene clean up photos

Readers will find the straightforward approach in the chapters refreshing and the examples clear and to the point.

Not only can you or your company meet continuing education needs, compliance, and learn OSHA Standards, but you will also be exposed to a diverse project portfolio included in the case studies.



Trauma Scene Cleanup Quick Reference Guide

biohazard training certification prep and continuing education

This Trauma Scene Cleanup Quick Reference Guide is part of an open-source training platform comprised of a 3 mil laminated UV resistant plastic cover (3 2-sided pages, 6 total pages), with OSHA Standards explained next to HD photo case studies and the associated training material slides for each of these OSHA standards.



biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean up

Case 1: Attempted Suicide in a Hotel Room

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean upThe metal scrapers (paint scrapers) are very useful across the concrete sub floor and put distance in between the gloved-hand and bloody concrete. When biological waste has been contained in the medical waste boxes, as well as, the conventional waste prepared for transport, the technicians remove their personal protective equipment and place it in a medical waste box. All the PPE is disposed of as medical waste.  The room then has a comprehensive fog applied with Get The Odor Out to restore hygiene and improve comfort.  The technicians have easy access to a container clearly labeled "Biohazard" with the biohazard symbol clearly displayed and a red bag insert for biomedical waste to be placed inside.

 

Case 2: Hoarding and Gross Filth in a Home

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean upThe deceased rested in the bedroom of a home affected by heavy hoarding and filth. The project began with the initial assessment of the contaminated environment. The primary biological contaminated area consisted of a significant amount of blood and body fluid in the middle of the front bedroom where the 1st responders knocked down a brick wall to recover the body. After the initial assessment and development of the waste removal plan, all applicable PPE was applied and then the entire area was treated with the primary disinfectant Shockwave.  The disinfectant was applied countless times during this remediation process. During the dwell time needed for the disinfectant application, a review was performed in the collateral area to better define the biological contamination plume and for quality control. The decomposition area on this project was in a front room.

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean up

Case 3: Tear Gas Residue in a Home

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean upSeveral teargas canisters were shot into a home (”I’m not coming out!”; drug-related activity brought police action). Multiple canisters not only made it into the home but also penetrated the wall cavities and leaving a high concentration of reacted dust in the recess. Once the entire structure was treated with the teargas neutralizing solution, technicians then began to recover the dust left by the teargas projectiles. While the technicians were collecting reactive dust, a HEPA filtered Air scrubber was run in other portions of the house to gather dust that was disturbed during cleaning and to restore air-quality.  The MSDS for the tear gas neutralizing chemical is on hand in accordance with OSHA Standard Hazard Communication 1910.1200. The Get The Odor Out formula used is specifically formulated to neutralize CS and CN teargas particulate.

Case 4: Hoarding and High-volume filth Cleaning

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean upThe project begins with the initial assessment of the contaminated environment. The 2-story home was condemned by the local health department. There were dozens of cats living inside and outside the home, saturating everything in urine and feces. After the initial assessment and development of the waste removal plan, application of all applicable PPE and then spray the entire area with the primary disinfectant, Shockwave. During the dwell time needed for the disinfectant application, review the collateral area to better define the biological contamination plume and for quality control.  The scope included placing the personal salvageable items in a segregated, concentrated area in the garage and portions of the home in order to remove contents/trash and manipulate contents in preparation for disposal. These actions were to relieve the home from condemnation from the local health department.

Case 5: Human decomposition in an apartment

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean upThe bedding, mattress, and portions of carpet and pad were affected by biological fluids. A person in their 40s died and was left unattended for over 2 weeks. This decomposition produced fluids that penetrated the mattress, box springs, carpet, and pad. The decomposition odor present was very challenging. This affected material was segregated as medical waste and contained and the entire area was disinfected multiple times. Once the top layer of bedding and the pillow top of the mattress were removed, the fluids that settled on the bottom-side of the mattress were exposed.  The clear labeling on the biologically contaminated material is shown. This material was sealed in 4 mil plastic for safe transport and labeled in accordance with OSHA Standard 1910.1030 Bloodborne Pathogens.

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean up

Case 6: Corner Store Stabbing

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean upThe contamination (blood) on the property was dispersed throughout the store front to the photo counter and out into the parking lot. This blood spill was in relation to a stabbing that took place in the parking lot and the victim ran into the store for help before the police and EMS 1st responders arrived. The blood on the scene was splatter across a large area opposed to pooling and a concentration in a small area. The actual inputs on the project were 8 hours of technician labor, 3 gallons of disinfectant, and 2 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE).  In summary, the blood affected area stretched across multiple surfaces such as non-porous tile and porous concrete. This area was disinfected multiple times, including doors, hand rails, and counter tops. All the food merchandise in the affected area was disposed of as medical waste.

Case 7: Airbag deployment blood spill

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean upTo begin the project, the outside of the car must be disinfected after the application of personal protective equipment. Once the outside of the car has been treated with the primary disinfectant (Shockwave), the technician then opened the door and begin applying disinfectant throughout the interior. The cause of the blood spill was an airbag deployment. The airbag injured the driver significantly and once the driver was removed from the car the blood spread from the interior down the exterior of the car on the driver side doors. Carpet found in a home is best cut from the underside with a razor. Pushing a razor blade through the woven fabric underneath provides a more consistent surface for the blade opposed to the long carpet fiber on the top side.  The blood was recovered from the non-porous surfaces with disinfectant solution and cloth rags and discarded as medical waste. Cotton swabs were used to recover blood and disinfect sensitive areas such as electronics controls.

 

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean up

Case 8: Tear gas residue carpet salvage in a home

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean upA gentleman stood in the doorway of his wife’s home and screamed at the police outside, “I have a gun and I’m not afraid to use it!” or something close to that according to his wife. The husband lived during the police action that followed his comments but the home was damaged from the tear gas projectiles fired into it. The contamination (tear gas) on the property was dispersed throughout the entire home. A chemical fogger and manual hand sprayer were used to distribute the tear gas neutralizing solution. The MSDS for the tear gas neutralizing chemical is on hand in accordance with OSHA Standard Hazard Communication 1910.1200.  This extractor was able to recover the teargas powder that was neutralized but still rested down in the carpet and surfaces. The neutralizing solution is sprayed out of nozzles on the end of the wand and recovered through the larger vacuum hose which then settles in the recovery tank.

Case 9: Methamphetamine Lab in an apartment

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean upThe decontamination work consisted of recovering the residual residue produced during the operation of a clandestine methamphetamine lab (user level) in a one bedroom apartment. This user level lab was established in the utility room for segregation. The police were aware of the occupant’s clandestine manufacturing of methamphetamine and they were waiting for him to cook before raiding the apartment. The police succeeded in their plan and the occupant was cooking methamphetamine when they arrived to shut it all down.  The base ingredient of this product is Stabilized Chlorine Dioxide (2000 PPM), an EPA listed light-duty bactericide used to restore biological hygiene. This solution also contributes to oxidizing the compounds found in any trace residue from the meth lab on hard-to-reach surfaces in recess areas. In summary, by removing belongings, carpet, and pad all surfaces were exposed to treat with neutralizer and the contents were disposed of.

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean up

Case 10: Attempted Suicide in a luxury hotel room

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean upAn occupant attempted suicide with a knife beginning in the bedroom on the mattress continuing into the den and kitchen area and eventually collapsing in the bathroom. The contamination (blood and body fluids) in the hotel suite was dispersed throughout the entire unit. Two technicians performed decontamination work for a total of 4 work hours to remove the contamination. During this process, 2 individual sets of personal protective equipment, 5 quarts of disinfectants, and 6 quarts of biological indicator (H2O2) were consumed. The blood affected material extends to portions of the room near the bed from the removal of bedding material and movement of the injured. Contamination continues to the bathroom and kitchen accumulating in the bathtub and across various surfaces (marble, carpet, cabinets, furniture).

Biohazard Remediation ebook (83 pages)

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean up

Readers will find the straightforward approach in the chapters refreshing and the examples clear and to the point.

Not only can you or your company meet continuing education needs, compliance, and learn OSHA Standards, but you will also be exposed to a diverse project portfolio included in the case studies.



Trauma Scene Cleanup Quick Reference Guide

biohazard remediation hoarding and OSHA compliant crime scene clean up

This Trauma Scene Cleanup Quick Reference Guide is part of an open-source training platform comprised of a 3 mil laminated UV resistant plastic cover (3 2-sided pages, 6 total pages), with OSHA Standards explained next to HD photo case studies and the associated training material slides for each of these OSHA standards.



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