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PestSure Blog

Feb
09

Best Practices for Spill Control

The difference between a big spill and a small spill often comes down to your employees’ reaction to the spill when it first occurs. A spill of pest control products needs prompt, correct, and well planned attention. Most often, a spill can be a minor occurrence when a well-designed spill control plan is trained on and executed.

A spill can occur when you are mixing, applying, or just driving with product in your truck. The best scenario is to prevent a spill from occurring in the first place and practicing safe chemical handling procedures, good truck organization, and safe driving will all help to prevent spills.

At the 2022 PestSure Safety and Loss Prevention Meeting, Alan Harlan, vice president of service and quality control for Team Pest USA in Charlotte, North Carolina, shared his experiences developing spill control training programs and how pest management professionals can do the same in their operations.

The Four Cs of Spill Control

What is the most effective way to prepare technicians to follow proper spill control practices? Harlan says it is important to make spill control training a priority starting with the onboarding process, making it a recurring topic in training sessions and emphasizing it as an important part of your overall safety culture.

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Jan
13

Avoiding Parking Lot and Backing Accidents

Parking lots are a lot riskier than most drivers think.

Many pest control technicians likely believe there is a greater chance of being involved in an accident while driving between service appointments than maneuvering through a crowded parking lot.

Would it surprise you that 20 percent of vehicle accidents take place in parking lots and garages? That is 1 in 5 accidents, according to statistics from the National Safety Council.

All too often, technicians park their service vehicle in a manner that invites trouble. Parking lots are full of hazards including backing vehicles, pedestrians, carts, confusing traffic patterns, limited visibility and congestion. In addition, many lots have fixed objects such as utility access points, barricades, cart corrals, and landscape.

Since most parking lot accidents happen when exiting the lot, it is important for technicians to plan their exit route ahead of time. And even though their vehicle and other vehicles are moving slowly in a parking lot a collision can still result in significant damage and possibility for injury.

Parking Lot and Backing Best Practices

Most parking lot and backing crashes are "preventable” if technicians follow their driver safety training. To help reduce the risk of being involved in a parking lot, PestSure offers the following tips to help technicians develop better safe driving practices.

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  1132 Hits
Jul
09

The Heat Is On For Summer Safety

It may not be the dog days of summer yet, but you would never know it. The climate outlook for the month of July, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, is that temperatures will be well above average across much of the country, spanning the Mountain West to the East Coast.

For service technicians, summer not only means dealing with increased pest pressure and full routes but dealing with the heat found in crawlspaces and attics. Knowing the signs of heat-related illnesses and training employees on ways to reduce their exposure to excessive heat can head off problems.

Heat Related Illnesses

Problems develop when the body’s cooling mechanisms do not work properly. For example, when the air temperature exceeds body temperature, the body cannot easily cool itself. If the air is humid, sweat also does not evaporate quickly. Sweat also does not evaporate from a person wearing protective gear making heat-related illness a concern in any weather, anywhere.

Heat-related illness takes several forms. Heat rash occurs when sweat ducts become clogged. Heat cramps are painful muscle spasms caused by the loss of electrolytes from heavy sweating. If you develop these conditions, immediately get out of the heat so you can rest.

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Apr
07

Animal Bites, Cuts, Punctures and Scrapes and Slip/Fall Injuries On the Rise

From animal bites to slips and falls, workplace injuries in the pest management industry can occur on any job, making workplace safety a top concern for both employees and managers.

PestSure compared worker injury claims of its insureds between 2021 and 2020 and discovered that animal bites; cuts, punctures and scrapes; lifting and slips/falls from a different level all increased.

  • Bitten by Animal - 13% (2021) vs. 11% (2020) +2 %
  • Cuts, Punctures, Scrapes – 11% (2021) vs. 9% (2020) +2%
  • Lifting – 8% (2021) vs. 7% (2020) +1%
  • Falls/Slips From a Different Level – 7% (2021) vs. 6% (2020) +1%

worker injury 2Linda Midyett, vice president and loss control director for PestSure, attributes the increases to several factors including inconsistent training and technicians becoming complacent with safety procedures as well as the lack of familiarity with new accounts.

“Animal bites are preventable with consistent training and good communication,” says Midyett. “Slips and falls are common but increase when technicians get lax about their surroundings or are not familiar with the account.”

Midyett encouraged technicians to take a few minutes to walk around the property before starting service to perform a safety assessment.

“Whether it is a new account or a home or business you serviced for years, take the time to look for hazards that may have been introduced since the previous visit,” says Midyett.

What red flags should technicians look when doing a safety assessment?

  • Barking dogs, ‘beware of dog’ signs and unsecured fenced in backyards should raise a red flag with technicians. Midyett recalled an example of a dog’s unpredictability when a dog that appeared friendly approached a technician as he exited his vehicle but bit the technician a half hour later.
  • Before conducting perimeter or lawn care treatments take a 3D view of the property. Look for air conditioning units sticking out of windows, low hanging branches, rocks hidden under shrubs or brush, unrolled hoses and depressions in lawns that can lead to head injuries or slips and falls.
  • Slick surfaces can form on stone patios and paths and decks and stairs following a rain shower, and if the technician is not wearing the right shoes – ones with gripping soles – the chances increase for a slip and fall incident.
  • Over filling backpack sprayers and trying to lift them out of a truck bed, pulling sprayer hoses across a lawn or lifting ladders on or off a truck can all lead to injury
  • Taking a shortcut across a lawn or icy parking lot vs. walking on the sidewalk can lead to an unexpected slip and fall incident if you come across a depression or hidden object. Choose the safest path rather than the quickest.
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May
18

Welcome to PestSure’s Inaugural Blog Post

What is PestSure?

PestSure is an insurance company that is wholly owned by its members, pest control operators, also known as a captive. Headquartered in Dallas, TX, the PestSure team consists of insurance experts, a dedicated claims unit, and loss prevention services that all specialize exclusively in the pest control industry.

What is a captive?

A captive is an alternative insurance model that exists as an insurance company dedicated to providing coverage for itself. The captive members all pay their fair share of the insurance premiums and the captive pays out claims like any other insurance company.

So how is that better than a standard insurance carrier?

The captive’s main priority is to serve the captive members, not shareholders! PestSure is also able to focus our expertise on one type of business, not the diverse businesses that typical insurance carriers have to worry about. This means better coverage and claims handling than you’ll find anywhere else.

What will this blog provide for its readers?

Throughout the year, the PestSure blog team will be providing the following to its readership:

  • Loss Prevention/Safety Tips
  • Important happenings in the industry
  • Highlights of events that PestSure is a part of
  • Insurance changes relevant to pest control companies
  • Any topics requested from readers like you!

- The PestSure Blog Team

  1190 Hits
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