Blog Post


May 31, 2018
4:46 PM

There are a few things that people don’t want to think about or deal with themselves – including cleaning up a property after a suicide, homicide or unattended death. That’s the reason that biohazard cleanup is such an important service offered to families in the Quad Cities. The trauma team is Werner’s newest division, working to clean, sanitize and deodorize after a traumatic discovery. “It’s nothing that people want to think about,” explains Michael Frederich, who joins Werner to lead the trauma team with two years of experience in the field. “Providing this service is really about helping our neighbors.” Because it’s not a well-known service, here are a few questions you may have about trauma cleanup (also described as bioremediation or crime scene cleanup).

Who is responsible for the cleanup of a property after a trauma?

Families are typically thrown into a whirlwind of emotions when a family member dies – ranging from anger to confusion to grief. And in the midst of this, the contamination from these deaths can mean that blood and bodily fluids need to be removed from a scene quickly and effectively. But who is ultimately responsible to make sure this happens. “There’s a misconception that the police or coroner are responsible for the cleanup,” explains Michael. “But it’s actually the responsibility of the family.” While many people try to do this work themselves, it may expose them to both emotional and physical risks.

How long does biohazard cleanup take?

Unlike other types of restoration work, which can take weeks and months due the depth of the projects, speed is a top priority of biohazard cleaning. “The process typically takes a day,” Michael says. “We get in and out as quickly as possible.”

What other type of situations can warrant this service?

In addition to suicide, homicide or unattended death, the trauma team works to restore properties after methamphetamine production. “A typical meth job is overseen by the EPA,” explains Michael. “Every surface area in the home must be inspected.” Because of the governmental oversight in these types of remediation jobs, Werner uses some of the most stringent guidelines to get the home back to acceptable levels of contamination.

What happens during a trauma cleanup?

When Werner is called to respond to a biohazard cleanup, each job begins with a great deal of discretion. The team arrives at the property in unmarked vehicles and clothing, enters through the back door, and discreetly brings items to and from the scene. This is important to families who wish to maintain privacy in the midst of a tragedy. Once the work begins, it’s all about care and details. “It’s pretty low-tech work,” Michael explains. “But it’s more about the care and professionalism of the technician.” That’s why the training of the staff is so important. Each team member who works on biohazard cleanup is trained and accredited to specifically work with this type of decontamination.

What makes this type of cleanup different than other restoration work (like water and fire restoration)?

In addition to the speed and tools used, trauma cleanup is different from other restoration work in other ways, too. Every surface must be inspected to ensure even the smallest sign of contamination is removed. It can be easy to overlook a droplet of blood, but that’s why the detail and care of the work cannot be understated.

The bottom line

Restoring a property after a trauma is not something most people want to think about. But the newest division of Werner, the trauma team, is available to help people get their lives and homes back on track. Learn more about trauma and biohazard cleanup.

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