Complexities of Biohazard Coverage

 Sunday, August 14, 2016

 Tina Bao

Fire, floods, and other natural disasters. As an insurance adjuster, these are the situations you are trained to respond to. But what happens when your client experiences a biohazard incident in their home? Beyond the emotional impact that comes with any serious tragedy, there may be risks and complications not instantly familiar to you.

If your agency already provides biohazard coverage, you may assume that finding a reliable service provider is relatively effortless. However, many traditional restoration companies are not prepared to offer biohazard cleaning. For those that do, few have the specialized training or equipment needed to perform the job safely and effectively.

Unlike most types of restoration, biohazard remediation is not directly regulated or certified by any official body. Instead, your customers may look to you for advice. This is why it pays to understand the basics of crime scene cleaning. We don't expect you to become an expert in unusual circumstances - that's our job. But knowing what questions to ask can help you guide your client to choosing the best, most reliable and efficient cleaning service possible.

Here are the three main things we suggest you look for when guiding your customers through the process of selecting a biohazard cleaning firm. Furthermore, we have broken each of these questions down into points that highlight what we believe are most concerning to you, the agent. Take a look:

1. Is the Company Compliant With OSHA?

Bloodborne Pathogen Training with a Written Exposure Control Plan: While crime scene cleaning is not something certified by law, OSHA requires all those who handle blood and bio to maintain up-to-date training in the handling procedures specific to this type of work. Additionally, companies like Aftermath Services help guarantee employee health and safety with mandatory vaccines for commonly transmitted diseases like Hepatitis B.

Proper use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment): Companies that protect employee health are also protecting you and your client. Good crime scene cleaners not only provide specialized PPE designed for biohazard cleanup; they also train employees on the proper use and disposal of gear.

Other Training Protocols: Unique circumstances call for specialized training. Some examples of this sort of experience include lock out tag out procedures, asbestos awareness, lead based paint training, and power tool handling. A good cleanup service ensures that each employee is competent in all aspects of the job.

2. Does the Company Comply with All Local, State, and Federal Laws?

State-Licensed Medical Waste Generator and Transporter: Each state has different rules regarding the pick-up and disposal of biohazardous waste. Be sure the company you choose is licensed to complete the task you hire them for.

EPA RRP Lead Certified: A biohazard remediation firm should be able to produce certification stating that they are trained in and use lead-safe work practices.

Asbestos Compliant: A crime scene cleanup company is not an asbestos abatement service. Unless they also perform removal, a responsible cleaning firm knows how to avoid disturbing asbestos.

3. Does the Company Follow Best Practices of the Cleanup Industry?

Validated References: A company who is experienced in the cleanup field should have documented evidence of satisfied customers. This will help you ensure that they have the experience needed to handle the job you want done.

Corporate Owned, Locally Operated: Corporate owned means the quality of work is consistent across a wide network. Your expectations as an adjuster remain the same, whether your client is located in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco.

Bonded and Insured: This protects your client from additional risks, including employee theft and contractor's pollution.

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