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The Travel Industry’s Cleaning Crews, Outbreak, & Infectious Diseases

Posted on 07/11/2014 by Advanced Bio in Blog

Recently, a New York airplane cleaning organization went on strike, refusing to clean up infectious diseases and human bodily fluids, such as blood or vomit, from airplanes without sufficient protection standards in place.

This strike stemmed from the recent Ebola virus outbreak , as employees are very aware that if they have to clean a plane that carried an infected traveler, their lives are possibly at stake. However, their strike indicates an even bigger problem within the cleaning industry: many maintenance professionals are not adequately trained to deal with proper biohazard cleanup processes. Today, travelers possibly carrying Ebola or other deadly diseases pose a real risk, so ensuring that airplane travel cleanup crews, and professional cleanup companies in general, are properly trained, certified and protected should be a real focus.

This strike also brings into focus the immediate importance of making sure traveling cleanup professionals and healthcare workers are sufficiently trained, certified and protected to deal with diseases such as Ebola, infectious diseases, and other dangerous contaminates.

The Effect of Insufficient Training to Remove Infectious Diseases

When cleanup professionals are not properly trained, the risk of diseases, such as Ebola, spreading throughout a country grows. Because of such high danger, crews like those that clean airplanes and trains are no longer just maintenance workers: they need to be trained like forensic and biohazard cleanup professionals, as they also provide a great and important service. To protect these workers both from catching diseases and spreading them to travelers, employers need to follow OSHA guidelines and inform employees about chemical and biohazard dangers.

Employers are also required to describe and provide necessary protective measures. This means that employees need protective suiting, durable gloves, specific masks and adequate face protection. In addition, companies need to train employees how to handle biohazard materials both safely and legally. There are both federal and state regulations to follow regarding biohazard cleanup.

What Are the Best Procedures for Infectious Diseases and Waste Disposal?

The procedures that professional biohazard and death scene cleanup specialists observe are the most efficient practices to follow. Infectious waste cleanup specialists, such as those that attend to crime scenes, unattended deaths, accidents and suicides, are trained and certified to handle, decontaminate and dispose of many types of biohazard and dangerous materials like blood or bodily fluids. They are OSHA-certified and provide such services on a daily basis throughout the country. Their experienced knowledge of biohazard cleanup processes alongside state and federal regulations is the type of information and training that cleanup crews such as those that service airplanes desperately need – especially today.

For example, many maintenance companies provide employees with inadequate gear such as flimsy gloves and protective coverings – if they are providing them with any protective coverings at all. Many standard cleaning gloves are paper thin and rip easily – a very dangerous defect for a person possibly exposed to contaminated properties. Simple face masks also do very little in the face of a powerful and deadly disease such as Ebola – not only do these masks only protect a small part of the face, but they are sometimes absorbent and easily destroyed by any biohazard fluids they may touch. Their layer does nothing to protect the skin and orifices underneath.

Properly trained and certified cleanup professionals are prepared and protected with items such as the following:

  • durable, closable Hazmat suits
  • respirators that both lesson odor and clear contaminates
  • specific types of protective gloves
  • sturdy boots

Phoenix medical waste cleanup specialists are trained to be able to don these items in a method that ensures full protection and to remove them in such a way that the employee is not exposed to contaminates. Crime scene cleanup specialists are also trained on how to clean areas in such a way that all is decontaminated and any risk of exposure to infectious diseases is as nonexistent as possible.

The Importance of Proper Training & Protection within Aftermath Services

It is imperative that travel cleanup crews are trained as well as forensic cleanup professionals when it comes to infectious diseases in the U.S.. The emergence of Ebola disease during the recent Ebola virus outbreak has led many people to understand that one of the only ways to prevent such a disease from spreading is to make sure all healthcare workers and cleanup crews are sufficiently protected. Airplane cleanup crews, such as the one that went on strike, first need to be educated that they will possibly encounter biohazard fluids when cleaning a plane. Second, they need to be provided with sufficient cleanup training and protective gear.

All professional cleaning companies and their employees should be OSHA-certified and trained to both decontaminate and protect themselves and other employees from bloodborne pathogens and other infectious diseases. As one of the most essential parts of proper pandemic preparedness, preparation and protection could save millions of lives. It begins with awareness. Contact our experienced and certified biohazard cleanup professionals today for more information.