Portland, Mich. (WLNS)– As Covid-19 concerns continue to rise, so does the demand for cleanup and a Mid-Michigan company is trying to stay ahead of the curve.
“Last week on one day we had 400 calls alone so we just didn’t have enough staff that were HAZWOPER trained to even begin to respond to the demand we were getting,” Timothy Fuller, Owner of Windy Brook Companies said. Fuller and his team specialize in damage restoration.
According to Fuller, HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) training is required under OSHA for anybody that would be doing any kind of cleaning or remediation of hazardous material. That includes the Covid-19 virus.
In order to make sure his employees were up to speed, Fuller brought in national expert Jim Thompson from Florida to train them.
“It’s important that not just anybody that’s in a contaminated or potentially contaminated building is doing this cleaning,” Fuller said.
The training involves intensive classroom instruction before trainees go into the field to practice for real-life scenarios wearing all different types of protective gear from fully enclosed suits, down to simple protections like dust masks.
Fuller said right now, training is limited, due to the high demand from companies wanting to be prepared.
“Once word kind of spread that we were you know, training additional staff, I had other companies from all over that wanted to be involved. We were lucky to get a trainer here right away,” Fuller said.
Fuller said his biggest worry is if people who aren’t properly trained attempt to clean contaminated areas and potentially make the issue even worse.
“The repercussions are that if an employee that’s not trained does go into a contaminated area, obviously first and foremost they could get [the coronavirus], but they could take it home to their family. Worse yet they could spread it,” Fuller said.