Transporting biohazard materials is a risky business. After every shift or operation, these emergency vehicles should be decontaminated by professionals via emergency vehicle decontamination service routine. Without exempting personal cars, decontamination must take place after moving a sick or injured individual.
Biohazard waste is categorized as bodily fluid or discharge, which pose a threat to the environment. Bodily fluids, as we know it, are carriers of pathogens such as bacteria and viruses that spread diseases and pandemics. The strict laws and regulations guiding the handling of these biohazards are in place because of the sensitivity of the case study. Similarly, the regulation of disposal and transport sites of such materials is necessary.
Guidelines for Vehicle Decontamination
The state and local guidelines are different from one place to another. Created by the Federal and State governments, emergency vehicle decontamination service guidelines necessitate the thorough decontamination of emergency vehicles after transporting biohazard waste.
Before cleaning the vehicle at large, airing the vehicle is a must. More so, the best site for cleaning is desolate areas that are miles away from pedestrian traffic. Other procedures include:
- Wearing prescribed PPE such as gloves and masks – sometimes, in two layers where necessary.
- Where there is solid matter, clear and clean the affected area, in that order
- Wash vehicle area with a mixture of soap and water
- Use broad-spectrum disinfectant (EPA-approved) to clean the affected area.
- Do not disregard unaffected areas as contamination might have occurred during cleaning. Thus, disinfect these areas (such as the steering wheel) while administering emergency vehicle decontamination service.
- Bag and dispose of cleaning materials after decontamination.
Hazmat five W’s of decontamination
Questions like ‘who is in charge of the decontamination line?’ mean that the decontamination line workers should have a direct head. Known as the ‘Site Safety and Health Officer,’ the officer must monitor the people assigned to the emergency vehicle decontamination task. Supplies and protection in the line of work must be adequate. Decontamination officers are easily dehydrated and exhausted while working. So, these officers should be allowed to work shifts of one or two hours.
When it comes to tools and equipment for decontamination, what you should ask would be ‘what type of decontamination work needs to be done’ and ‘what type of emergency is it?’.
Thus, decontamination work is limited to the complexity of steps, site hazards, and level of exposure to hazard during work.
The most critical time to establish a decontamination line is the first few minutes of the emergency. Before initiating procedures, the decontamination officers must set up operational modes and conducts for the type of contamination.
Warm zones are best suited for decontamination operations. Often regarded as the ‘contamination reduction corridor,’ these warm zones must be distant from hazard sites so that decontamination officers are not exposed to imminent danger.
Decontamination questions such as ‘why are emergency vehicle decontamination necessary’ has been addressed by OSHA. Their definition infers the need to preserve the health and safety of a population that necessitates the evacuation of hazards from the environment.