(Fort Worth, TX –BMS CAT, a full-service company providing mitigation, remediation and restoration services, recently completed clean-up and recovery work at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regional office building in Austin, Texas.

BMS CAT worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security to clean up and recover sensitive documents, office equipment and personal effects damaged by a February plane crash and subsequent building fire.

Applying a unique inventory system the company deploys as part of its aviation disaster business, BMS CAT inventoried the entire contents of the building, including 6,000 boxes of tax files. Documents were boxed and labeled, and later cleaned and sanitized. Freeze drying prevented further deterioration and damage to wet documents, and charred edges on burned documents were trimmed to prevent IRS employees from inhaling soot. BMS CAT also employed a combination of ozone, safe chemicals, air exchanges, air filtration and ionization to deodorize recovered documents that had been contaminated by fire, plane fuel or mold.

As part of the document recovery process, BMS CAT took possession of active criminal investigation and grand jury files. To preserve the sanctity of the chain of custody and evidence, the IRS took the unusual step of adding BMS CAT to the grand jury list. “This was the first time the IRS ever did this,” said Mark Rocco, senior vice president, Global BMS. “Our extensive work with the National Transportation and Safety Board, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and various financial institutions created a level of comfort that enabled the IRS to trust that our procedures would in no way jeopardize their work.”

Comfort and trust were also important in the recovery of personal effects. The IRS took the position that the building was unsafe for their employees to retrieve personal items. Instead, the IRS asked BMS CAT to inventory and photograph employee personal effects and then post the photographs on a secure website for employees to view and claim. According to Rocco, the process worked extremely well and employees responded positively to the support provided to them.

In addition to the recovery of personal effects and documents, BMS CAT worked with IRS on the recovery and/or disposal of office equipment and furnishings.

Throughout the process, BMS CAT made the safety and health of BMS CAT and IRS employees its first priority by implementing a Specific Health and Safety Plan that met all local, state and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. The plan addressed hazards associated with the work to be performed and included personal protective equipment requirements, elevated work and OSHA fall protection standards, equipment maintenance and emergency procedures and electrical hazards.

To learn more about BMS CAT go to www.bmscat.com.