Biohazard cleaning: what is it and why is it important?

Biohazard cleaning is a unique and diverse field with a wide range of roles on offer. If you’re considering a career in biohazard cleaning, you probably have some questions about the process and what to expect.

We’ve put this article together to tell you everything you need to know about biohazard cleaning, including what it is and why it’s so important.

What is a biohazard?

Before we discuss biohazard cleaning, it’s important to understand what a biohazard is. ScienceDirect describes a biohazard as “biological substances that pose a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily that of humans.”

Biohazards can be bacteria, viruses or pathogens. They are commonly found in environments that handle clinical and industrial waste such as laboratories and hospitals, but they can be found in many different settings.

Here are some examples of biohazards:

  • Medical waste e.g. soiled bandages
  • Blood and other bodily fluids
  • Biological materials
  • Animal waste
  • Sharps

What is biohazard cleaning?

Biohazard cleaning is the process of removing biohazard materials and ensuring that affected areas have been thoroughly disinfected. The main goal of biohazard removal is to ensure that the area no longer poses a threat to human health.

Some common biohazard cleaning services include trauma cleaning, crime scene cleaning and sharps removal.

Biohazard cleaning process

Biohazard cleaners must follow several steps to ensure that biohazard cleanup is carried out safely and efficiently.

Firstly, they must carry out a risk assessment and ensure that they have the appropriate equipment to remove any biohazards present.

Once the risk assessment has been completed, industrial-grade cleaning chemicals and disinfectant equipment are used to remove biohazards and decontaminate the affected area.

The appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) must be worn during biohazard cleaning to reduce the risk of exposure and infection.

Is biohazard cleaning regulated?

Biohazards are controlled under government waste regulations, specifically COSHH – Control of Substances Hazardous to Health. Professional biohazard cleaners must follow strict government regulations to ensure biohazard materials are disposed of safely and legally.

Why is biohazard removal important?

Biohazard materials like blood and other bodily fluids present a serious health risk. Exposure to these materials can expose people to life-threatening infections like HIV and hepatitis B. A delay in biohazard removal can have fatal consequences, so you must act quickly.

Employer responsibilities in biohazard cleaning

Employers have a legal responsibility to protect the health of employees and anyone else who visits their facility.

If an incident involving biohazards occurs on private property (e.g. used sharps are found), the property owner is responsible for arranging biohazard cleanup.

The UK law states that the primary responsibility to arrange efficient biohazard cleanup lies with the employer or property owner.

Employers must arrange professional biohazard cleaning to minimise the risk of exposure and maintain a safe work environment.

Contact professional biohazard cleaners

You should contact a cleaning company with experience in biohazard removal immediately following an incident involving biohazards.

Professional biohazard cleaners will attend your site quickly and ensure that biohazard removal is carried out swiftly and effectively. This will minimise the risk of contamination and exposure to potentially deadly infections.

When is professional biohazard cleaning required?

Routine biohazard cleaning is required in settings that handle industrial or clinical waste such as hospitals or laboratories.

Professional biohazard cleaning services are also needed following traumatic events where dangerous pathogens may be present. This includes suicides, natural deaths, road traffic accidents, and other traumatic events

However, it is important to remember that biohazard removal may be required in a wide variety of scenarios.

For instance, if there is an accident in the workplace involving bodily fluids or an outbreak of dangerous bacteria.

Biohazard cleaning and COVID-19

Professional biohazard cleaning has become especially important since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Viruses like COVID-19 can survive for up to three days on hard surfaces according to UK Research and Innovation.

Potentially dangerous pathogens must be removed to reduce the risk of exposure and infection.

When is biohazard removal training required?

Biohazard cleaning training is a must if your facility handles biohazardous materials like hypodermic needles or clinical waste.

A biohazard cleaning course will teach you how to collect and dispose of biohazard materials safely and minimise the risk of infection.

Biohazard cleaning course

At Ultima, we offer a CPD-accredited Decontamination and Biohazard Cleaning Course.

This specialist training programme is taught by industry experts and will teach you the specialist skills needed to carry out safe and efficient biohazard cleaning.

Our biohazard cleaning course is essential if you handle biohazards in your role or wish to pursue a career in specialist cleaning e.g. crime scene cleaning.

Completing the programme is also a great way to expand your skills and knowledge around biohazard cleaning and hazardous waste.

Contact Ultima to find out more about biohazard cleaning in London

At Ultima, we have a team of professionally-trained cleaners offering biohazard cleaning in London and the surrounding areas.

Our cleaners have extensive experience in biohazard removal and can assist with any matter relating to biohazard cleaning. We provide swift and efficient biohazard cleanup to ensure that your business can continue to operate safely with minimal disruption.

Get in touch to find out more about our biohazard cleaning services