Suicide Cleanup Work Requires Professional Biohazard Removal Training

A recent ruling by the Washington Court of Appeals has thrown a spotlight on the importance of proper training when performing biohazard removal work such as suicide scene cleanup.  Debbie Rothwell, a custodian for the Nine Mile Falls School District in Washington state, was instructed by the school district superintendent to cleanup a suicide scene after one of the students shot himself in the head in a classroom. The suicide scene cleanup required the removal of “brain matter, pieces of bone, and blood” without the supplies and equipment necessary for bio-hazard cleanup and removal. Additionally, cleanup of a suicide scene, especially one in which biohazards are visibly present, placed her at risk of contracting life threatening and potentially fatal disease.