PestSure Blog

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Identifying and Mitigating Job Hazards


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.

The following is a list of situations technicians and inspectors commonly encounter that could pose a hazard while performing a pest control service. How would your employees react to these situations? Share these questions with technicians at your company’s next safety training meeting:

  • Will you take the safer path rather than traversing that slippery hill or incline or cutting across that icy driveway or parking lot?
  • Will you call the homeowner from the safety of your truck when you see a dog roaming the yard or barking behind the front door?
  • Will you get the proper height ladder and come back to complete the job when you have it on your truck?
  • Will you go back to your truck to grab your safety glasses, bump cap and gloves before you enter that attic or crawlspace? How about digging out the kneepads and crawl suit too?
  • Will you fill that sprayer to the top or fill only to the level you need so that you can save on your body and improve your balance?
  • Will you rig your fall arrest gear or just hope that the roof pitch will be kind?
  • Will you place your attic boards or walk the ceiling joist tightrope?
  • Will you push through and complete this job or take a break to hydrate, cool down, and rest a moment?
  • Will you inspect the ladder and setup before you climb?

Don’t Let Bad Habits Develop

Each time employees “get away with” an unsafe behavior, the unsafe method is reinforced in their minds. If the unsafe action (i.e., work method) that is chosen does not result in an injury or an accident of some sort, an employee subconsciously thinks it is ok to short cut the process again next time.

Who does this endanger? Who suffers if a technician is injured? All employees have the right to a safe workplace and to return to their families after work safe and sound. Pest management companies have an obligation to their company, employees and customers to create and provide the resources that promote a culture where identifying and mitigating hazards is a top priority.

PestSure – Your Partner in Safety

Founded in 1980, PestSure is the only insurance and risk management provider that is 100 percent dedicated to the pest management industry. It offers industry professionals a full suite of insurance, risk management, and safety training and education offerings.

PestSure provides insurance, safety and risk management consulting to pest management companies representing $2 billion in revenue, $750 million in payroll and more than 16,500 service vehicles. The program is administered by Alliant Insurance Services.

Call 888.984.3813 or visit our contact page for more information.

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