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Become a Crime Scene Cleaner: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Crime scene cleaners decontaminate and cleanup after a crime has occurred. Some professional cleaners provide services after an unattended death or suicide has taken place. Regulations are in place to protect the safety of cleanup workers and ensure potentially dangerous materials are removed from the site. Insurance companies or property owners call crime scene cleaners to a site after law enforcement has collected evidence.

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Step 1: Complete Biorecovery Technician Training

Biorecovery training courses can provide students with bloodborne pathogen training required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which regulates workers, like crime scene cleaners, who are exposed to blood and bloodborne pathogens. These courses teach students the proper procedures for notifying law enforcement and handling the scene of a crime if new evidence is discovered during the cleanup process. Students can learn about techniques for removing odors and cleaning body fluids from various surfaces, special equipment used to clean contaminated areas and methods for personal protection.

Students who complete biorecovery training courses approved by the American Bio-Recovery Association (ABRA) and pass an exam are awarded the Certified Biorecovery Technician designation.

Step 2: Obtain Additional Training

Aspiring crime scene cleaners who want to be more marketable to potential employers might consider completing additional training, such as courses on drug lab decontamination. These courses can take up to two days and provide hands-on training on assessing a site and preparing a decontamination plan. Crime scene cleaners who want to offer cleanup services for drug laboratories must also complete a training course in hazardous materials and OSHA's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard to meet federal and state requirements for the removal and handling of hazardous materials.

Step 3: Seek Qualified Employers

When seeking a position in this field, individuals can look for employers who meet OSHA standards for exposure to blood spills. Employers who meet these requirements should have a bloodborne pathogen exposure control plan. The plan includes training and procedures for handling and cleaning blood from a crime scene. Employers must also offer their workers a Hepatitis B vaccination, exposure evaluation and follow-up to remain compliant with OSHA regulations.

Employers of crime scene cleaners are also required to provide their employees with personal protective equipment, such as gloves, respiratory equipment and protective clothing that reduces exposure to hazardous materials.

Step 4: Look for a Support Group

Cleaning up a crime scene can take several days, and the individual situations could lead to stress or emotional issues. Instructors who prepare crime scene cleaners suggest that these workers seek support groups as one method to resolve any personal issues with difficult scenes or situations.

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