Managing pest control is part of good business practice. It means making sure that your business premises are not only free from pests but are sufficiently maintained to prevent risk of infestation.
For food businesses, managing pest control is a legal requirement.
What responsibilities do businesses have?
Businesses are responsible for identifying, managing and dealing with potential risks. Employers could be in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 if they fail to protect employees from pests while in the workplace. Diseases caused by pests such as pigeons, slippery floors caused by bird droppings and food contamination by pests are all concerns for employers.
Here are five useful pest control checkpoints for all businesses:
1. Schedule regular inspections to check for infestations, particularly in vulnerable areas such as kitchens.
2. Identify any susceptibilities to specific pests associated with your line of business. Pests can be insects, birds, rodents and domestic animals. They can range from biting bugs in an office carpet to mice in a restaurant.
3. Draw up a pest control checklist to record inspection dates, incidents and action taken.
4. Focus on prevention by ensuring your building is properly maintained.
5. Allocate responsibility for pest control to an employee, team or outside contractor.
A schedule of cleaning for your premises and equipment should be put in place and waste should be dealt with appropriately.
It is worth noting that inappropriate storage and use of pesticides can lead to chemical hazards, covered under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations, and that some species of pests, such as starlings, are protected from destruction.
In addition to the procedures outlined above, food businesses are required to take reasonable precautions to prevent pests entering food storage and preparation areas. This includes ensuring windows and other openings are fitted with cleanable insect-proof screens and that full records are kept relating to risk assessments, pest sightings and identification, recommendations, action taken, details of pest control contractors, pesticides used and evidence of control.
Orchard Facilities Management can help safely remove plant, rodent, bird, flying insect, cockroach and ant infestations from your premises with a number of different methods. We can also implement measures to prevent any unwanted visitors from entering your building. Contact our team on 01422 880 180.