Image

888-984-3813

Image

888-984-3813

PestSure Blog

May
10

Evidence Matters in a Vehicle Accident

evidence-blog

The number of deadly vehicle accidents is increasing nationally as are the monetary judgements being awarded by juries. As a result, it is incumbent for pest management company owners and managers responsible for driver safety training, to explain the importance of collecting relevant evidence in the aftermath of an employee-involved vehicle accident.

Evidence collection is essential for understanding the circumstances surrounding an accident, identifying causes, preventing future incidents, and ensuring that appropriate actions are taken to improve safety.

Determining the Cause - Evidence helps investigators understand what happened leading up to, during, and after an accident. This information is crucial in determining the root cause of the accident.

Establishing Liability - Evidence can help determine who or what was responsible for the accident. This is important for legal purposes, such as determining liability for damages or injuries.

Continue reading
  50 Hits
Apr
10

Keep Your Eyes on the Road: Tips to Reduce Distracted Driving Accidents

distracted_driving-blog

Distracted-driving crashes accounted for 8 percent of all fatal crashes, 14 percent of injury crashes and 13 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes, according to the National Safety Council.

Texting or talking on the phone, eating, drinking, and smoking, are the leading distracted driving behaviors and PestSure, a leader in driver safety training for pest management professionals, is fully committed to reducing the frequency of distracted driving accidents and assisting companies create a safe driving culture.

“In our PestSure insurance program, rear-end collisions account for 48 percent of our losses,” said Linda Midyett, vice president and loss control director for PestSure. “These crashes are expensive because our driver caused the crash and resultant damage. They are hard to defend because our driver controls the speed and proximity of their vehicle to the vehicle in front of them.”

The pest management industry has thousands of employees behind the wheel day and night to service customers. With every turn, stop or backing out of a driveway, there is a risk for an accident to occur. Therefore, it is vital for companies to develop and follow protocols for safe driving practices, especially when it comes to distracted driving.

Reducing distracted driving accidents is crucial for pest control businesses to protect their employees and assets. PestSure offers the following tips for business owners:

Continue reading
  73 Hits
Mar
22

Get In Step with Safety: Shoes for Crews Program

Shoes-for-Crews-blog

The average American takes approximately 4,774 steps a day. In the pest control industry, we know technicians, inspectors and sales representatives take a lot more than that during the workday.

Inspecting a 1 million sq. ft. warehouse, applying multiple perimeter treatments for mosquitoes in one residential neighborhood or climbing stairs in an apartment building, can rack up the steps, increasing the likelihood of a slip, and fall incident. That is why pest control professionals need to pay attention to the shoes they wear.

Footwear safety is not only an important part of building a culture of safety, but it can impact your company’s bottom line. Research shows that 85 percent of workers’ comp claims can be traced to employees falling on slick surfaces and that slips and falls account for 65 percent of all workdays lost due to injury. And the average cost of a slip or fall accident is more than $20,000. Those are numbers that get your attention.

What Causes Slips and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls in outdoor environments can be caused by uneven surfaces, hidden trip hazards, and weather conditions that create poor traction or that cause pest control technicians to lose their balance. While technicians cannot control environmental conditions that decrease the safety of outdoor walkway surfaces, they can certainly reduce the likelihood of falls through increased awareness and eliminating hazardous situations.

Continue reading
  153 Hits
Mar
07

Ladder Safety 101

Ladder-safety-blog

Ladder safety is crucial for pest control professionals because falls from ladders can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Using ladders improperly or without following safety guidelines can lead to accidents resulting in injury.

According to data collected from PestSure insureds, ladder accidents are the result of these two behaviors:

  • Using too short a ladder to reach too high an access point causing the ladder to tip over.
  • Placing ladders on unstable or slippery surfaces and not paying close attention to ladder angle.

Accidents like these can cause fractures, sprains, strains, head injuries, and death. Proper ladder safety practices help prevent such accidents, ensuring a safer work environment for employees and customers.

Ladders accidents can also be costly. According to PestSure, the average claim cost for a ladder fall in 2023 was $13,000 per claim. In some instances that number reached upwards of $80,000.

Ladder Basics

Continue reading
  195 Hits
Feb
08

Acing the Test on Pesticide Safety Education

Pesticide-blog

Pesticide safety education plays a crucial role in promoting responsible pesticide use and mitigating potential risks to human and non-target animal health, the environment, and sustainability efforts.

February is National Pesticide Safety Education month and PestSure wants pest control industry professionals to be aware of the significant value of ongoing pesticide safety training. Offering and participating in pesticide safety training provides applicators with the knowledge and skills necessary to handle pesticides safely. By understanding proper handling, storage, application, and disposal procedures, technicians can minimize the risk of accidental exposure, poisoning, or environmental contamination.

Continuous education and training opportunities in pesticide safety enhance the competency and professionalism of technicians. By staying informed about emerging trends, best practices, and advancements in pesticide technology, technicians can improve their effectiveness, efficiency, and job performance.

Pesticide safety education also promotes environmentally responsible practices that minimize accidental pesticide spills and drift, reducing the risk of contamination to soil, water, and non-target organisms.

Avoiding Pesticide Exposure

Continue reading
  226 Hits
Jan
17

Preventing Slips and Trips During Service Calls

blog-slip-and-fall

Occupational slip and fall injuries cost employers and employees $70 billion annually, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In the pest control industry, workplace slip and fall injuries from stairs, decks, retaining walls, not ladders, made up 30 percent of total work injury claims in ’23 for PestSure insureds.

Slips, trips, and falls in outdoor environments can be caused by uneven surfaces, hidden trip hazards, and weather conditions that create poor traction or that cause pest control technicians to lose their balance. While technicians cannot control environmental conditions that decrease the safety of outdoor walkway surfaces, they can certainly reduce the likelihood of falls through increased awareness and eliminating hazardous situations.

Uneven ground, debris, tools, and wet grass are all potential causes of slips, trips, and falls for pest control personnel. These types of accidents are especially dangerous since technicians often risk falling with a tool in hand or while wearing a backpack.

Although many slip, trip, and fall injuries are minor (for example, sprained ankles and wrists), they can be very costly from a personal perspective because they limit mobility. Some falls result in serious knee and shoulder injuries.

Common Slip and Fall Hazards

Continue reading
  254 Hits
Dec
04

Strategies for Working with Subcontractors

Ladder-safety-image

The structural pest control industry is no stranger to subcontractors. From termite pre-treatments and fumigations to lawn care and construction repairs, PMPs rely on subcontractors to fill in the service gaps and allow them to provide more services to clients.

Working with subcontractors is not without risk, however, and many pest management professionals are not fully aware of the perils as it relates to insurance.

Kristina Phillips, CIC, CRM, vice president and director of client services for PestSure says pest management professionals need to carefully review the details in their subcontractor agreements and contracts, and make sure they are indemnified.

“PMPs must ensure the subcontractor can comply with all the requirements included in the contract,” says Phillips. “If something goes wrong and there is a claim, the pest management professional is responsible. Many PMPs do not realize that and assume the subcontractor will take care of it.”

Phillips says workers’ compensation claims and fumigations – a service PMPs routinely subcontract for - is a good example of the importance of carefully reviewing your agreements.

Continue reading
  469 Hits
Nov
14

Distracted Driving Takes Center Stage at 2023 PestSure Safety and Loss Prevention Conference

conv-blog

Distracted driving comes in many forms, but cell phone use while driving has become the most prevalent type of distracted driving. And the pest control industry is not exempt from the negative impacts of distracted drivers.

To raise awareness on the topic with pest control business owners and managers and help them identify strategies to mitigate the number of distracted driving incidents and reduce the financial impact that accompanies them, PestSure welcomed more than 100 of its insureds to Memphis, September 27-28 for the captive’s annual Safety and Loss Prevention Conference.

Keynoting the event was Dr. Paul Atchley of the University of South Florida who discussed “The Science Behind Distracted Driving.”

Atchley told attendees multitasking while driving - trying to make a phone call, respond to a text, adjust the radio – all the while staying focused on the road is a myth. While many drivers feel they are capable of multitasking while behind the wheel, Atchley said research and crash statistic data proves otherwise, especially with younger drivers.

“You need your brain to drive safely, and multitasking is an impossible task for the brain,” said Atchley. “And attempting to do it while driving is a recipe for disaster.”

Continue reading
  535 Hits
Oct
11

How to Protect Employees from Phishing Attacks

Phishing-blog

Phishing attacks are one of the most prevalent types of cybercrimes with over 500 million phishing incidents reported in 2022. For perspective, which is over double the number of reported attacks in 2021 – and not surprisingly so, as it is one of the easiest types of scams to fall prey to.

In addition to the inconvenience and loss of trust from customers and employees, phishing attacks cost consumers and businesses $52 million in the United States in 2022.

While PestSure is known for its work educating and training pest management professionals from the daily hazards of distracted driving, ladder safety and fall protection, it also wants to make them aware of cybersecurity best practices around phishing attacks.

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and with the ever-increasing threat of phishing attacks via email, phone, or text, PestSure wants to provide the following tips to stay one step ahead of the threat.

Tips to Avoid Phishing Attacks

Continue reading
  300 Hits
Sep
21

Fall Protection Tips

PestSure-Fall-Protection-Social-Graphic

Pest control professionals often encounter challenging environments when dealing with pest infestations, which can include climbing ladders, accessing roofs, or working in confined spaces. Fall protection training helps technicians and inspectors identify potential fall hazards and take proactive steps to mitigate those risks, reducing the likelihood of accidents.

Working at heights, such as on roofs, ladders, or elevated platforms, can be dangerous. Falls from a roof, through a ceiling or skylight, off a ladder at even relatively low heights can result in serious injuries or fatalities.

Regular fall protection training equips pest control professionals with the knowledge and skills to prevent falls and minimize the risks associated with working at heights. An employee’s knowledge will protect them.

Benefits of Fall Protection

In addition to keeping employees and customers safe, companies providing regular fall protection training realize the following benefits:

Continue reading
  296 Hits
Aug
18

The Benefits of Staying Fit

fitness-blog

The work in the pest control industry can be physically demanding. Navigating crawl spaces and attics, climbing on ladders to inspect drop ceiling and roofs, and carrying bulky items from backpack sprayers to electrical cords, requires a certain degree of fitness.

After a long day at work, however, it might be difficult for technicians to talk themselves into a fitness workout. To balance exercise with a physically demanding job, technicians should try to modify their workouts to be compatible with their work demands.

Finding physical activities that they enjoy is critical to success in avoiding workplace injuries. With exercise, even some is better than none. Even if they don’t have time for daily exercise, they can still benefit from fitting some physical activity into their week. Physical activity outside of work can help boost energy, strengthen muscles, and improve mobility.

Fitness can also play a significant role in helping pest control technicians work more effectively and efficiently. Here are some ways in which fitness can positively impact pest control technicians' performance:

Physical Stamina - Technicians often need to work long hours, frequently in challenging and physically demanding environments. Being physically fit improves their stamina and endurance, allowing them to maintain high energy levels throughout the day and perform their tasks with less fatigue.

Continue reading
  482 Hits
Jul
12

Avoiding Rear End Collisions at Intersections

Rear-End-collision-blog

It seems simple enough. Stop at a red light or stop sign at the intersection and look both ways and you should be fine. If it was only that simple.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average, rear-end collisions account for one-third (33 percent), or around two million, of the six million traffic accidents that occur annually. And rear end collisions often involve injuries.

Navigating an intersection requires a driver’s complete and undivided attention. Their defensive driving skills are needed to safely navigate these controlled traffic zones.

One type of accident that has been on the rise involves a driver rear ending another vehicle at an intersection. The second or third car back in a line of stopped traffic is typically responsible for this collision. This mishap occurs when the first vehicle at the front of the stopped traffic does not move forward when the traffic light turns green.

It is likely that this driver has become distracted while sitting at the light or, at times, this front driver can see some hazard that the cars behind cannot see. The driver following the vehicle that has not responded to the green light then runs into the back of the vehicle that is not moving.

Continue reading
  507 Hits
Jun
08

Tips for Working Safely Near Electricity

Electrical-Safety-blog

Electrical hazards are listed as the cause of 4,000 injuries annually and while only a small portion of these occur on the job, workplace electrical incidents are often more likely to be fatal, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

Pest management professionals encounter potential electrical hazards while performing many routine services from working in crawlspaces and attics to using ladders to access roofs.

Service technicians and inspectors are protected from electrical hazards by barriers placed between them and wires that carry high voltage through customer’s homes and commercial properties but what happens when this barrier is taken away? How do technicians protect themselves if they cannot see it, smell it, or otherwise know it is there?

Safety Tips

Safety training for working around electricity is crucial to ensure that workers understand the potential hazards associated with electrical systems and equipment. Here are some key components that pest control business owners and managers should include in electrical safety training for technicians and other employees:

Continue reading
  395 Hits
May
19

On-the-Job Training Essentials

sprague-blog2

A well-designed on-the-job training program is essential for ensuring that employees acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their jobs effectively and safely. This is especially important in the pest control industry.

At the 2022 PestSure Safety and Loss Prevention Meeting, Mark VanderWerp, manager of education and training with Rose Pest Solutions in Detroit, presented how he has developed effective on-the-job training programs that deliver both safety and technical proficiency.

“A lot of on-the-job training programs are written from a technical standpoint but are not safety driven, and that needs to change,” says VanderWerp. “The pest control industry has a lot of exposure to safety hazards in the common tasks technicians perform every day.”

Common exposures like checking and installing bait stations, performing applications with a backpack sprayer, pulling hoses, climbing ladders or using extension poles to remove spider webs or stinging insect nests, carrying heavy items and crawling under things are the leading causes on-the-job injuries.

Many of these injuries can be avoided by establishing a consistent and comprehensive on-the-job training program that demonstrates safe work methods.

Continue reading
  535 Hits
Apr
12

Paying Attention to Distracted Driving

eyes-blog

In a recent survey from a national insurance company on perceptions and behaviors related to distracted driving, a third of business executives surveyed expect their workers to answer or participate in work-related calls while driving – and 42 percent of workers say they oblige.

Why do workers accept work calls, texts and emails while driving? Here is what survey respondents said on the topic:

  • The call might be a work-related emergency (43 percent).
  • They feel they need to always be available (39 percent).
  • They believe ignoring a call will upset their supervisor (19 percent).

The impact of taking those calls or texts is significant. According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use or texting was a factor in 13 percent of driving accidents that resulted in fatalities.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and PestSure wants to share valuable safety information with pest control professionals on distracted driving involving two of the most commonly used technologies – cell phones and GPS.

Safe Cell Phone Usage Tips

Continue reading
  655 Hits
Mar
14

Fall Protection and Ladders Among the Among the Most Frequently Cited Workplace Safety Violations

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, accidents resulting from fall protection and ladders are among the most frequently cited violations of workplace safety standards.

Linda Midyett, vice president and loss control director for PestSure, says the pest control industry is no stranger to the risks presented by falls and ladder usage.

“Pest control professionals deploy ladders and fall protection every day to perform services for customers,” said Midyett. “With an increase in the demand for bird management services and the need to access attics, crawlspaces and roofs of both commercial and residential structures, technicians are spending more time on ladders and lifts.”

As a result, Midyett encourages company owners and managers to schedule regular ladder safety and fall protection training for their employees. She also encourages pest control professionals to take the time to carefully consider the following variables before stepping on a ladder to perform a service: 

  • The length of time the job will require.
  • The materials and tools required.
  • The worksite setup.

PestSure Infographic Ladder Safety

“If the job requires extended hours working from a ladder, carrying excessive loads while climbing a ladder, and overreaching while on the ladder, consider the options of using a scaffold or an aerial lift,” said Midyett.

Selecting the correct ladder for the job at hand and following proper set up and usage practices is essential to safe ladder usage.

  1351 Hits
Dec
01

Safety and Loss Prevention Conference Focuses on Severity Reduction

blog-header-safety-conference

Reducing the severity of claims resulting from automobile accidents and on-the-job injuries is always top of mind for pest management professionals as they navigate their businesses through waters that are more litigious than ever.

To assist pest control business owners and managers identify practices that can reduce the severity and cost of claims, and promote an enhanced culture of safety, PestSure welcomed more than 100 of its insureds to Park City, Utah, October 25-26 for the captive’s annual Safety and Loss Prevention Conference.

“Having more than 100 industry professionals invest in two days of intense learning and networking on safety and loss prevention tells you that PestSure member companies are serious about reducing risks for their companies, employees and customers,” says Todd Burke, COO of PestSure. “There is no other event like this in the pest control industry and it reinforces our commitment to provide our insureds with the tools they need to create proactive safety cultures in their organizations.”

The two-day event featured presentations that positively influence the way pest management professionals train and educate employees on best practices to reduce risk while protecting consumers, and their homes and businesses from destructive and health-threatening pests. In addition to risk reduction strategies, attendees identified methods for reducing costs and inefficiencies associated with not developing and continuously promoting good safety practices.

Featured sessions at the Safety and Loss Prevention Conference included:

Continue reading
  538 Hits
Nov
17

Identifying and Mitigating Job Hazards

Ladder-safety-imag_20221117-201801_1

Pest control professionals can control many job hazards with the proper selection and use of personal protective equipment (PPE), but not all hazards can be eliminated or mitigated solely by using PPE.  

Some of the hazards technicians and inspectors face on the job are only identified and controlled by a game-time decision. What do we mean by game-time decision? A decision about something that is unknown until the moment the decision is made.

Whether it is done performing a bird exclusion job on a roof or a rodent clean out in a crawlspace, these game-time decisions are typically within the control of technicians. And they rely heavily on the knowledge obtained through on the job training and classroom education to identify and eliminate or mitigate these hazards.

Hazard Identification Tips

Successfully identifying and mitigating job site hazards, requires pest control professionals to take the time to assess the situation and make decisions based on their training, experience and the conditions on the ground.

Continue reading
  710 Hits
Oct
10

Five Tips to Avoiding a Pedestrian Collision

Pedestrian-safety-image-2

Drivers struck and killed an estimated 7,485 people on foot in 2021 – the most pedestrian deaths in a single year in four decades and an average of 20 deaths every day, according to data collected by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Hitting a pedestrian is most drivers’ worst nightmare. The potential for serious injuries when a car strikes a person can be very high, and the driver suffers even when they did their very best. Your best defense to avoid a pedestrian collision is to focus 100% on your drive avoiding all distractions.

Since pest control service personnel are continually pulling in and out of driveways and entrances to commercial properties, it is vital that they are keenly aware of walkers, joggers and bike riders.

Five Tips to Avoid A Pedestrian Collision

What can pest control professionals do guard against a collision with a pedestrian? PestSure offers the following tips that can be incorporated into a company’s driver safety programs.

Continue reading
  644 Hits
Sep
19

Four Things to Remember When Working With Subcontractors

Q3-PestSure-Infographic-Working-With-Subcontractors

The structural pest control industry is no stranger to sub-contractors. From termite pre-treatments and fumigations to lawn care and construction repairs, PMPs rely on subcontractors to fill in the service gaps and allow them to provide more services to clients.

Working with subcontractors is not without risk, however, and many pest management professionals are not fully aware of the perils as it relates to insurance.

Kristina Phillips, CIC, CRM, vice president and director of client services for PestSure at

Alliant Specialty, says pest management professionals need to carefully review the details in their subcontractor agreements and contracts, and make sure they are indemnified.

“PMPs must ensure the subcontractor can comply with all the requirements included in the contract,” says Phillips. “If something goes wrong and there is a claim, the pest management professional is ultimately responsible. Many PMPs don’t realize that and assume the subcontractor will take care of it.”

Continue reading
  606 Hits
10 May 2024
PestSure Blog
The number of deadly vehicle accidents is increasing nationally as are the monetary judgements being awarded by juries. As a result, it is incumbent for pest management company owners and managers responsible for driver safety training, to explain th...
10 April 2024
PestSure Blog
Distracted-driving crashes accounted for 8 percent of all fatal crashes, 14 percent of injury crashes and 13 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes, according to the National Safety Council. Texting or talking on the phone, eati...
22 March 2024
PestSure Blog
The average American takes approximately 4,774 steps a day. In the pest control industry, we know technicians, inspectors and sales representatives take a lot more than that during the workday. Inspecting a 1 million sq. ft. warehouse, applying multi...
07 March 2024
PestSure Blog
Ladder safety is crucial for pest control professionals because falls from ladders can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Using ladders improperly or without following safety guidelines can lead to accidents resulting in injury. According...
08 February 2024
PestSure Blog
Pesticide safety education plays a crucial role in promoting responsible pesticide use and mitigating potential risks to human and non-target animal health, the environment, and sustainability efforts. February is National Pesticide Safety Education ...
17 January 2024
PestSure Blog
Occupational slip and fall injuries cost employers and employees $70 billion annually, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In the pest control industry, workplace slip and fall injuries from stairs, decks, retainin...
04 December 2023
PestSure Blog
The structural pest control industry is no stranger to subcontractors. From termite pre-treatments and fumigations to lawn care and construction repairs, PMPs rely on subcontractors to fill in the service gaps and allow them to provide more services ...
14 November 2023
PestSure Blog
Distracted driving comes in many forms, but cell phone use while driving has become the most prevalent type of distracted driving. And the pest control industry is not exempt from the negative impacts of distracted drivers. To raise awareness on the ...