Industry News

Tips for avoiding litigation during pest management jobs

By Austin M. Frishman, Ph.D.

You can’t anticipate every potential adverse event for your business, but you can help reduce the incidence of them by fully evaluating a situation and taking thorough inspection records. If something does happen, records will show you took the initiative to prevent these events. Here is my list of things to address for a thorough pest inspection record:

  • Photograph the location of each exterior rodent bait station. The photos should show that the bait station is properly anchored and tamper-resistant.
  • After all initial pest management jobs, call the client within 24 hours to ensure satisfaction. Follow up where necessary.
  • Provide all proper pesticide protection equipment mandated on technician materials.
  • Whether it’s related to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or pesticide certifications, document all training sessions, including physical fitness tests for proper respirator use.
  • Record a list of all employee allergies and avoid dispatching those employees to jobs that could trigger their allergies.
  • Inform technicians of diseases associated with pests like rodents and cockroaches. Communicate suggested procedures outlined by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for dealing with these pests.
  • Before incorporating a new pesticide into operations, train technicians on the label and safety data sheet.
  • Discuss any helpful training aids and tips with your distributor, insurance agent and other appropriate professionals. Some pest management associations have excellent training guides, including the Certified Pest Control Operators of Florida and the National Pest Management Association.
  • Employ lawyers in your state to help review new contracts.

When working specifically on subterranean termite jobs, note all areas where termite activity and damage are visible to treat appropriately and prevent future damage. List all conditions favorable for termites, and acquire the customer’s signature confirming their awareness of necessary corrections. On follow-up inspections, don’t note original findings, but do reiterate on future reports what old and new conditions occur that favor termite survival.

Lastly, as the world changes, add new actions when appropriate. For example, research and create policies for employees regarding social media use, and note inappropriate questions to ask during interviews with potential new employees.

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