Although construction workers are responsible for some of our country’s most important achievements, like building our roads, homes, bridges, and skyscrapers, their jobs are far from glamorous. In fact, those working in construction are faced with some of the most dangerous working conditions in any industry – from deadly falls and electric shock to mangled limbs and toxic fumes.
OSHA helps businesses protect their employees and reduce the number of workplace injuries and illnesses through specific regulations. Examples of OSHA standards include requirements to:
- Provide fall protection.
- Prevent some infectious diseases.
- Prevent exposure to harmful substances like asbestos.
- Provide respirators or other safety equipment.
- Provide specialized training for dangerous jobs.
Despite regulations, accidents still happen. The scene that remains after a fall or serious accident can be a traumatic one. Even once the chaos has settled and the last ambulance has driven away, construction managers are often left with a big question: Who is going to clean up the accident scene?
Cleaning up the Scene
Attempting to clean up the scene of a major construction accident can be intimidating, and for good reason. Exposing yourself to someone else’s blood can be extremely dangerous. According to Health and Safety Executive, “People suffering from certain infections may have the agent of disease present in their blood. In some cases the organisms persist in the blood for long periods and in sufficient numbers to represent a high risk of transmission.” In other words, if a construction worker who is infected with HIV or hepatitis is injured and one of his colleagues becomes exposed to the blood, the colleague could also become infected with HIV or hepatitis.
Taking the proper precautions when handling the scene of a construction accident is imperative to the safety of everyone involved. In fact, some pathogens can remain present in blood for up to 14 days after the blood has dried, so the scene should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to protect those returning to work. While personal protective equipment like suits, gloves, and masks can help protect the individual responsible for cleaning up the blood, how can you be sure that all of the blood has been removed?
Companies may rely on janitorial staff to clean up such situations, but most do not have the knowledge to properly clean and sanitize construction scene accidents. Hiring a bioremediation company like Aftermath can help. Aftermath adheres to all OSHA and NIOSH regulations, has locations across the United States, and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Learn more about us and what we do on our frequently asked questions page.