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KEEPING UP WITH COMPLIANCE

Dr Mark Walker from FMC Specialty Solutions names the top five resources pest managers should be familiar with to ensure they stay up to date with industry regulations.

We all understand that working with chemicals is serious business and that regulations keep us, our customers and the environment safe. More than ever we also understand that closely regulating how much, when and where insecticides are used can help limit insect resistance to active ingredients. However, staying on top of all that is required to be compliant can sometime feel like a full-time job on its own.

We’ve listed below some useful sources for most of the information you need to stay up to date with the latest in the pest industry regulations. Of course, if your business offers extra services such as waterproofing or carpet cleaning, you will need to look into compliance in relation to those industries. Obviously, you’ll need a pest license to operate in your state or territory as the first step.

1. APVMA

The government authority that regulates all chemicals applied to the living or built environment. Most products used in professional pest control must be registered with the APVMA prior to being sold for use. The packaging label content is approved by the APVMA and must specify directions for use, safety and storage information as well as application rates for each approved situation and pest.

You can search for the approved label and other details by product name at https://portal.apvma.gov.au/pubcris

2. AEPMA

In Australia, there are some Codes of Practice that are the responsibility of our main industry body. Membership ensures you receive information on any issues that affect our industry and could affect your compliance in terms of certifications or product use. AEPMA currently has details for their members specific to applications in the food industry, pre-purchase timber inspections and bed bug control. A wealth of information can be found on their website, www.aepma.com.au.

3. Federal Government Training

The training requirements for urban pest management were updated in 2014 and other changes could be announced at any time. It’s important to keep your skills up to date not only to ensure compliance but also to keep your business skills sharp.

This is where you can find out how to get your ‘Unit 42A’ to gain the competency to install physical termite barriers. More and more, this is a requirement to secure any quality pre-construction contracts or manufacturers’ accreditation. https://training.gov.au/Training/Details/CPP30911

4. CodeMark

This is a voluntary scheme jointly developed by the Australian Building Codes Board and the New Zealand Department of Building and Housing that supports the use of new or innovative products in the building industry. CodeMark provides confidence and certainty to regulatory authorities and the market through the issue of a Certificate of Conformity, which is evidence that can be used to demonstrate that a building product complies with the National Construction Code (NCC), the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian Standards (AS).

Pre-construction termite management products should always be compliant with the relevant building codes to ensure that the property will be protected for the design life specified by the architect and builder. Recent changes have come into effect in the part of the Australian Standards that relate to termite management, AS 3660. Now is a good time to check that the products you’re using meet all the requirements and that you’re installing them correctly.

The Register of CodeMark Certified Products gives details of all CodeMark Certificates of Conformity issued by CodeMark certification bodies. The register is updated as new certificates are issued, or when existing certificates are updated or withdrawn. http://www.abcb.gov.au/Product- Certification/CodeMark-Certification-Scheme.

5. HACCP

If you have customers in commercial or industrial food preparation or storage, you need to be aware of HACCP. Their purpose is to identify and manage hazards, reducing the risks of food contamination events through the development, implementation and ongoing operation of comprehensive food safety programs. Suppliers to the food industry can have their products endorsed as food safe under HACCP Australia guidelines, providing a strong marketing platform to the food safety conscious sector of the industry.

You can check what products are HACCP certified by checking the HACCP website.

Don’t risk it!

You know not to risk the physical safety of your customers and technicians by applying chemical products incorrectly. Don’t risk the financial safety of your business by using a product or method that is not certified as compliant with all relevant regulations and codes of practice, it’s not worth the fine and damage to your reputation.

Dr Mark Walker, Development & Technical Lead, FMC Specialty Solutions