For most of us, the closet we get to being on the messy end of death is through our addiction to popular television shows like Law and Order and CSI.
We can cringe at the gore from the safety of our sofa’s confident that the screen provides a reasonable distance between us and the detritus of death inside the TV.
But what about those people whose sole responsibility is cleaning up after a crime scene?
The people who really have to get their hands dirty as it were.
Cape Talk's Sara-Jayne King caught up with one of South Africa's real-life crime scene clean up operatives to find out more about the work they do cleaning following homicides, suicides, and industrial accidents.
We had an incident where it was an extremely high calibre gun that sent part of the person's skull through the ceiling.— Francois de Jager, Director, Crime Scene and Trauma Clean Up
We pick up pieces of skull, body parts...sometimes there's [human] tissue that we have to physically pick up with our hands.— Francois de Jager, Director, Crime Scene and Trauma Clean Up
De Jager says industrial crime scenes come with their own challenges.
When you're working with a machine that just injured a person, but that machine is worth millions, I can't discard the machine, I need to clean it back to being able to function...you have to distinguish between what is machine and what is not.— Francois de Jager, Director, Crime Scene and Trauma Clean Up
Listen to the full interview here: