On December 10 2004, around 1:30 PM, Custodian Debbie Rothwell received a call in what would turn into her worst day on the job. Upon her arrival she was shocked to see the bloody scene of a student that shot himself in the head inside the schools main entrance, according to http://caselaw.findlaw.com/. Rothwell had to remove medical supplies, brain matter, pieces of bone, and blood in the hallway.
Within a few years, Rothwell filed suit against the District and Superintendent Green in 2007. Her claim was that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The case was dismissed claiming pursuant CR 12 (b)(6) asserting her claims were precluded by the exclusivity provision of the IIA because her claimed injury occurred during the course of her employment. The trial court granted the District’s motion and dismissed the action with prejudice, and her lawsuit was reinstated in 2009.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in 2013, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death for all ages in the United States. 8% of students have attempted suicide one or more times within 12 months. With these statistics there could be more cases like Rothwells. Especially because there are many custodians that aren’t fully trained or equipped to handle such a clean-up, emotionally.
There are companies trained and prepared in the field of biohazard remediation to handle a scenario like Rothwells. There is a lot more involved with biohazard remediation, and only a trained professional should provide the service, and many custodians and workers aren’t. If the blood isn’t cleaned up properly, it becomes a health hazard for anyone that comes into contact with it. Only a trained professional with proper tools, equipment, and properly used disinfectants can truly make the area or item safe. There has to be a proper clearance test in order to verify if the contaminated surface was disinfected. The clearance test proves that disinfection has been done properly and that the surface is safe to touch without the need to worry about it, according to American Bio Recovery Association (ABRA).
If you choose to hire a contractor or other professional service provider to do the clean up, make sure the contract has experience cleaning the issues. Check their references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in the EPA guide on the epa.gov website.