Pest control is not optional for businesses. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has specific guidelines and requirements business must follow. Additionally, there can be other local, state, and federal mandates regarding pest control regulations you need to review to ensure compliance.
Pests can include a wide array of different classifications, including, but not necessarily limited to:
According to Section 1910.141(a)(5) of OSHA’s regulations regarding vermin control:
“Every enclosed workplace shall be so constructed, equipped, maintained, so far as reasonably practicable, as to prevent the entrance or harborage of rodents, insects, and other vermin. A continuing and effective extermination program shall be instituted where their presence is detected.”1
In addition to establishing ongoing extermination methods, businesses need to address other potential causes for pests in the workplace. One common source can be related to the type of clothing your employees wear in the workplace.
For instance, if you allow employees to wear their own clothing, there is a risk they could accidentally bring pests into the work environment and create a potential pest problem. To reduce this risk, you could implement a work uniform dress code and provide your employees with appropriate working uniforms.
Rather than allow the employees to take the uniforms home, and possibly be exposed to pests, all uniforms should be kept at work. When employees arrive for work, they will change into their clean uniforms.
By having employees change into uniforms at work, you can focus part of your pest control efforts on the changing areas. If pests are detected and appear, they are being brought in on the clothing your employees wear before changing into their uniforms, and you can take appropriate steps to remedy the situation.
Tips for Addressing Employees
If you discover your employees are partially at fault for pests in the workplace, you need to address the problem.
- Do discuss the problem with the employee privately.
- Do be direct, but mindful when speaking to the employee.
- Do review workplace hygiene and sanitary requirements with the employee.
- Do allow the employee to respond as to the cause of the problem.
- Do have changing areas treated regularly for pests.
- Do be aware of employee rights and protections.
- Do document any meeting and set specific, but fair expectations.
- Don’t make an example of an employee in front of workplace peers.
- Don’t make assumptions of the reasons for the problem.
Other Ways to Control Pests
Proper pest control also includes following good housekeeping practices, such as:
- Clean all work areas frequently.
- Make sure waste/trash is disposed of properly.
- Keep all bathrooms cleaned and sanitized.
- Train and educate your employees on industry-specific requirements, like safe food handling in restaurants.
By working with your employees and developing an ongoing pest control program, along with providing them with work uniforms, you can control pests in the workplace. For more information about work uniforms rental options, please feel free to contact Prudential Overall Supply at (800) 767-5536 today!