Crime scene cleaning podcast

26th of October 2022
Crime scene cleaning podcast

Katja Scholz reports on a new podcast about crime scene cleaning being produced by BIV.

For well over 18 months now, the contract cleaning association BIV has been joining in the discussions - also in its ‘Glanzstück’ podcast – on politics and science, on skilled trades in particular or industry in general, on training, digitalisation, migration or sustainability and on social or cultural developments.

Christopher Lück, BIV communications director, moderates the podcast interview and meets a relevant interviewee roughly once a month. Why make a podcast?  “Podcasts are still very popular. Around one third of households in Germany and particularly 16 to 29 year-olds listen to podcasts on a regular basis. So we are keen to communicate with new target groups,” explains Lück.

The summer episode is all about a niche area of cleaning. Lück speaks to Ralf Zschäbitz, departmental manager for pest control, building and special cleaning in a company, about crime scene cleaning. “We often get enquiries on this topic so we felt it was worthwhile to record an episode about it.”

As a trained contract cleaner and master craftsman, Zschäbitz has worked in the hospital sector for many years and became interested in crime scene cleaning.  Although qualification as a cleaner is not a prerequisite for crime scene cleaning, it nevertheless simplifies the work tremendously, since trained cleaners are equipped from the outset with a knowledge of different types of dirt, materials and exemplary hygiene.

“Of course, this activity is not for everyone. You have to want to and be able to cope with smelling and seeing things which would not occur during a normal office cleaning job,” explains Zschäbitz.  “For that reason, it’s not a job that can be mastered overnight - you have to take it step by step. This is also how we train young employees who are interested in this work.” 

At the same time, comprehensive health protection is for him a matter of course. “Our crime scene cleaners receive regular medical check-ups and are offered all appropriate vaccinations, comprehensive hygiene training and all PPE.”

The equipment used for cleaning does not differ substantially from that of a cleaner in an office complex or public building. There are however additional special tools used, such as for professional odour elimination. The time factor is also crucial. “It can happen, particularly in public buildings, that cleaning has to be done either very quickly or possibly also at unusual times of day.  In private settings we can generally clean during our normal working hours,” explains Ralf Zschäbitz.

It is especially important for him to tell his young trainees: look at the bigger picture! “It is our job to remove everything and to look in all the corners to make absolutely sure there are no further traces remaining when, for example, family members enter the private home of a deceased person.

A quiet, conscientious, discreet and respectful manner is also of the utmost importance. We are there when needed but we do not intrude. And above all, we work discreetly and do not pass on any information to the outside world.”


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