You’ve all seen the headlines: “Suspected P Lab found in up-market apartment”, “New Zealand’s largest Meth Lab uncovered”, “Suspected P Lab Explosion”.
It’s a news story full of police cordons, fire engines, police in hazmat suits, shocked neighbours and court appearances.
But spare a thought for the folk who have to clean up the toxic mess once everyone else has gone home.
Auckland trainer Paul Pritchard says one cleaner eventually died after being exposed to the dangerous chemicals while scouring out a former methamphetamine lab. That spurred Paul on to set up a proper training course for such people.
Paul works for Auckland Cleaning Systems, a specialist cleaning supplier and he’s already devised courses for dealing with the results of crime and trauma, and other hazardous materials. Adding in P lab decontamination was a no-brainer
Participants learn about the particular challenges involved, how they can protect their own health and safety, and what effect this all may have on mental health. They also need to know about their obligations under New Zealand law.
Paul says it not just cleaners involved either. In a meth decontamination, builders, plumbers and demolition experts can be called in.
It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.
Gallery: Trauma, Crime and P
Course particpant, Jo Fernando