Different forms of cleaning can seem unappealing to a lot of people, even at the best of times, however there is nothing that brings out fear like discarded needles. On community led Facebook groups there is always a post made if someone finds a used needle in a public place and the negative comments are quick to follow. Used sharps are possibly the most visual and most publicised form of biohazard waste and due to this the majority of people understand the risks and dangers surrounding them.
This type of cleaning should be undertaken by professionals, who have the capacity and capabilities to not only clean an area discreetly but to destroy the biohazardous materials in a safe and controlled environment. There are a number of risks associated with all biohazards and these should be taken into account when you come across any, this article will provide you with a basic understanding of just what biohazard waste is and how you should deal with it if you were unfortunate enough to encounter any.
What constitutes a biohazard
Biohazard waste is a broad term that encapsulates a number of different waste items, many would be enough to put off even the most enthusiastic cleaners. Essentially biohazard waste are items that have potential to cause infection and illness to those that come into contact with it, they include bodily fluids, faecal matter, sharps, needles and contaminations.
The locations you may encounter any one of the above items is as wide ranging as the items themselves. Blood spills can occur in accidents or through traumas, they are also commonplace in medical places such as a hospital. Needles can be found in secluded public areas, around bins or in abandoned buildings that have been used as a hideaway for drug addicts. The common thread and what connects all biohazards is the potential harm they may cause, mainly through infection with deadly viruses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and even HIV.
How to deal with biohazard waste
Upon discovering any biohazard materials you should act quickly as a delayed reaction can make any post clean up decontamination a lot harder. This is because a lot of the materials, especially bodily fluids, can seep into porous materials and whilst they appear to be clean they are in fact harbouring these potentially infectious fluids. Only a professional biohazard cleaning service would be able to not only detect any of these hidden materials, but also clean and disinfect the area.
Ultimately the responsibility of cleaning up biohazardous materials lays with the owner of the premises. This means that if you encounter needles on a public playing field it is likely that the local council is responsible for cleaning up the waste. In the first instance you should report the incident to the premises owner, who would then contract a professional cleaner to make the area safe. Unless you are a trained professional, you should not attempt to clean the area yourself as you may be putting yourself at risk of infection and there may be remnants of the waste left behind.
Acting quickly is the most important thing to do, this will then alert the relevant authorities that they need to employ the help of a biohazard cleaning firm to bring the risks down. This may involve having an area swept for needles (and destroying them as necessary), having an area closed to allow cleaning after an incident or accident – these can include road accidents and crime scenes that should not be tampered with until given authority to do so.
Safety is the main priority when dealing with biohazardous materials, for both the original finder, the cleaner and the general public. The nature of the materials that are being dealt with mean that there is always a heightened level of risk involved and most cleans are not as straight forward as they first seem. The best piece of advice, to reiterate a point made earlier, is to not deal with the cleaning yourself and you should look to make contact with either the land owner or a cleaning firm at the earliest point possible. When it comes to safety, only highly trained professionals should carry out the work.
Article provided by Cleaning Industrial Solutions, the leading company in specialist cleaning services across the South East of England.