The process of overcoming risk starts with taking an-depth look at the business and deciding how potential dangers and risks can be minimised or avoided all together.
The knowledge and skills required to do this can be achieved through training and guidance. Awareness is key in this business; a bait box placed in an unsuitable position could form a tripping hazard or even tempt interference from a member of the public.
One of the most common pest problems experienced by companies is the problem of "bird fouling". Dealing with this problem means the contractor has to work with difficult conditions, often at high levels above the ground.
In recent work for a major retail store in Chatham, there were a number of risks to assess. These included in the first instance whether the roof was safe to work on, what safety equipment would be required and how the roof could be accessed safely.
Additional considerations included the work itself, avoiding cross contamination of bird fouling and spores with staff at the store and other members of the public.
Pest contractors wear specialist protective clothing but procedures had to be put in place to ensure contractors changed out of this protective clothing before any interaction with others could take place. Disposing of the waste removed is also vitally important; pest contractors have a big responsibility not only to themselves but also to the clients' staff and members of public.
Contractors have to be careful and knowledgeable in the terms of the hazards they are dealing with and the ways in which these can be controlled. This control includes simple measures such as carrying first aid kits and suitable antidotes, making sure that more than one person is present when engaging in potentially hazardous activity and the use of protective suits and respirators where applicable.
Good pest control contractors will undertake a range of work including general housekeeping and proofing advice. Wildlife management might involve something as simple as clearing weeds from a wall. To ensure quality of service look for contractors that has met the industry's standards for membership to organisations such as the BPCA and NPTA.
By Nick Anderson
Rpcwildlife Environmental Services