The second part of this three-part article details the training necessary for CTS Decon work.

Any BSC interested in performing these services must go through extensive training and certification, says Griffin.

“This is not something that you learn by doing,” he says. “It’s too dangerous to do that.”

However, it takes a little research to determine the right training, since regulations vary by state. For example, where Cillian works in Arizona, crime scene cleanup business owners also need to be residential and
commercial contractors. That’s because cleanup can involve ripping out materials like tile and sheetrock. Not all states require that, however.

Additionally, OSHA does not specify all the training that may be required for every situation. At a minimum, workers need blood-borne pathogen training and information on how to remove and store biohazardous waste. Although hepatitis B is the only vaccine required by law for such work, Cillian also advises getting a tetanus shot. Plus, janitors will need hazard communication training so they can identify and handle toxic chemicals. 

Beyond the basics, special situations arise. If a death occurs in a closet or attic, BSCs will need confined space training. If a death occurs in a grain elevator, they’ll need fall protection training. If they’re working on equipment or in an industrial location, they’ll need lockout-tagout training to ensure the equipment can’t accidentally turn on and injure workers. And if a death occurs on a ship, marine laws apply.

Responsibility lies with the business owner to prove to OSHA that employees know how to do the work safely.

“I have to be able to prove to OSHA that all of my employees who have occupation risk have been properly trained and then verified through testing that they understood that training. And I’ve got to have proper training records,” says Tillman.

Cillian says the training could take anywhere from 40 to 80 hours because of the potential health hazards.

“If you don’t properly train these people and then something happens, people do die doing what we do,” says Cillian, who adds that even with the best training, workers may have nightmares or develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

Training is ongoing since employees often don’t stay beyond a few years.

“You try to tell them up front what they’re getting into,” says Cillian. “Then two days into it they’re finished and say, ‘I didn’t realize how hard it was.’”

Other employment challenges include clients who won’t allow any worker who has been arrested (even if not convicted) or workers who have trouble wearing a respirator, including those with facial hair.

“You should put them through the proper physical,” says Cillian. “You should be doing alcohol and drug testing, background checks. You should know who your employees are.”

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How BSCs Can Add Crime Scene Cleaning Services
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Pricing And Marketing Crime Scene Cleanup