It is no surprise that many people are curious about different aspects of life that they have never experienced themselves; an odd job, country of residence, being wealthy, famous, and the list goes on. We usually watch television shows or documentaries to get insight into what a different way of life might look like. What are some things you would ask somebody who lives a life doing something you have absolutely no idea about? This article will dive into what it’s like to a few of those questions you might have for a person employed at a forensic cleaning company.
Do you ever see dead bodies?
This is something that most people wonder about in cases where the forensic cleaning job relates to a scene where a death occurred, whether self-inflicted, crime-related, or due to natural causes. Most believe that cleaning crews show up to a scene immediately or after a short period of time. The reason this wouldn’t make the most sense in almost all cases is for two simple reasons; one, if a crime has occurred then emergency response personnel would be the first on the scene and two, forensic cleaning companies are exactly that – a cleaning company.
Crime-related scenes are usually assessed by police and crime scene investigators for days on end before any other person is allowed to interfere. Think about things like collecting evidence – how much harder would it be for cops to gather clues when none are present? Also, the body is usually where the biggest clues lie. Remember, cleaning up a crime scene can usually be considered a crime in itself.
How do you get used to the smell and graphic scenes?
This question is on everybody’s mind – how does the smell of a decaying body not bother you? How can you witness a bloody scene and not immediately run screaming? Well, it can be a combination of two things – exposure and disassociation. Usually, forensic cleaning workers choose this field of work so there must be a dash of personal desire thrown in there as well.
In the same way someone might choose to be a doctor, cleaners of what others might refer to as “gross” is looked at in a different way by someone who chooses to commit to studying the field and later working in it. Of course, imagine a surgeon who opens human bodies daily. They don’t see blood and human organs and feel disgust, but rather they see a chance to save a life. After years of working, it also becomes less horrifying to them. Of course, you need to personally assess if you are the type who can do something like this as a career, because it is rather normal to find these things off-putting.
Are you desensitized to death and/or gruesome scenes?
There are certain situations that human beings encounter that get burned into their minds or cause some serious trauma just from witnessing a scene that is uncomfortable or gut-wrenching. In this case, forensic cleaners probably have jobs where they must clean up human blood or other remains. Being aware that this was the scene of an unfortunate circumstance or that a life was lost can be upsetting to some, but again this is a chosen field of work for a cleaning company employee.
To say these people are desensitized may not be the greatest way to explain how they don’t faint every time they go to work – but as mentioned previously exposure and disassociation is important. There is a necessary step involved here where employees need to remind themselves that this is a job and that they are there to reinstate the scene to what it was before it was affected by a death or crime. To avoid negative mental affects on these workers, it takes practice and a certain readiness for the job.
Part of the job is also recognizing that this could have been related to a very traumatic or upsetting experience for the people who were involved with the site. There is an aspect of professionalism in the sense that workers know that removing biohazards, waste, bodily fluids, and other dangers or reminders of what occurred will help others. Returning to a scene that appears as if nothing ever happened there can give people a sense of a fresh start – this is important for the people who hire the cleaning companies.
Are people related to forensic cleaning jobs ever present at the scene?
Usually anyone related to the scene of the job is long gone by the time a forensic cleaning company is called in to do their work. In cases where someone has passed, family members do not want to be present as finding their loved one is probably very mentally and emotionally taxing in the first place. The reasons for forensic cleaning companies existing in the first place is of course to have professionals handle the situation properly, but also so that everyday people don’t have to deal with the situation themselves.
So, unless it’s a landlord of a building used for a drug operation or something related to issues with the building where they can assist in some way, other people will most likely not be present. Even in this case, usually police will have these conversations.
It is a safety issue as well that nobody else be present, because the chemicals or cleaning solvents used to clean the scene can be dangerous and harmful. The company employs professionals and specialists who will understand how different scenarios should be handled. Extensive training is usually performed for employees, and they have protective equipment readily available. An everyday person may touch or encounter something that can have serious affects on them.
So, why call a forensic cleaning company?
Well, most of what has been described above can answer this question for you. The multitude of various traumas that it can cause you to have to deal with not only the event that took place, but also to be in a place where you need to clean the scene yourself should be avoided at all costs.
In situations where someone has passed away, the dangers and damage are endless. Firstly, forensic cleaning companies insure their employees, and they are certified to handle this type of work. Professionals and experts in the field are well educated in terms of how to assess different situations, what is dangerous, how to clean and disinfect things properly and completely, and what tools and materials are meant to be used to ensure safety and a job well done. Most people don’t know how to properly clean blood stains out of carpeting or wood flooring, or how to get water damage out of walls. The health risks with this being done incorrectly or not being fully disinfected are endless (i.e., mould, asbestos, cracks in foundations or walls, bodily diseases or infected fluids, etc.).
The emotional and psychological toll of just witnessing these scenes can be enough to shake up anybody’s world. Especially in cases where the scene is the result of a loved one’s death, you shouldn’t be forced to encounter the scene and then clean it up yourself. Forensic cleaners are trained to deal with these situations with compassion and empathy all while being professional and ensuring they complete the job well. They know that the importance in their field has nothing to do with prying into what happened, getting negatively affected by the smell of a decomposing body, or having to touch needles, but it’s about restoring a site to its original state. Restoration is the goal for forensic cleaning companies and taking care of this in many unfortunate situations where people directly related should not have to do.