Insurance expert James Wallace offers some words of advice for pest managers considering branching out by offering professional cleaning services. 

Following the disruption that COVID-19 has caused to many industries, some businesses are looking to offer additional services to bolster their revenue. Many pest management companies already have the skill sets and equipment to undertake new tasks, such as offering cleaning and/or sanitisation services.

However, before your business begins offering services associated with COVID-19, it is essential to ensure that your staff have adequate knowledge, training and a thorough understanding of the differences between cleaning, sanitisation, disinfection and sterilisation. These are four separate services, each requiring specific methods and products. Just as pest management requires a great degree of knowledge, training and skill, so does professional cleaning.

The first port of call is to check with your insurer if cleaning and/or disinfection services can be covered. You also need to make sure you have the necessary training and product understanding to deliver the required services. If you don’t do it right you may be wasting your time and your client’s money. At worst, you might be posing a significant health risk.

Whether you are providing pest control or cleaning services in this current pandemic, it is important to gather some information about your clients before undertaking any work. Contact the clients beforehand and ask about the health of the occupants. Are they elderly or in the high-risk category? It is important to understand your clients’ needs and be aware of any health implications to your clients before you undertake any job.

As always, your top priority should be the safety of your staff. Ensure your staff use personal protective equipment in the correct manner. Protecting yourselves properly ensures you protect your clients, too. You also need to consider how many jobs, and what type of jobs you take on, as the risk may increase significantly from one premises to another.

Please be careful when marketing to your clients. Making claims such as “We’ll get rid of any virus, including COVID-19” or offering guarantees about the work performed should be carefully considered as this may leave you exposed to claims.

To learn more about COVID-19 you can undertake a free online course developed by the Department of Health and Aspen Medical.

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James Wallace, Director, Wallace Risk Solutions