Here we give a reminder about why it pays to protect your assets as a pest manager. The greatest asset being your good health!

Pest managers all know about the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) when applying chemicals, but it can be easy to forget some of the ‘minor’ safety equipment when carrying out inspections. A face mask and overalls are musts, but sometimes gloves and kneepads are overlooked or forgotten. This can be very costly from a personal safety and financial point of view.

Andrew Critchley from Instinct Pest Management in Gosford, NSW, was kind enough to highlight this near miss (main picture, above) from a recent inspection.

“Whilst navigating a tricky truss section that required some yoga to get through, I put my knee down on this metal bracket hidden under insulation. I put almost my full weight on it, and if it wasn’t for my knee pads, I think that would have put me out for the rest of 2016!”

When crawling in enclosed spaces, hands and knees are the key points of contact and need to be protected. Any damage to knees and hands can make your day-to-day activities difficult or impossible. So apart from any pain from an incident, the financial pain of not being able to work can be significant.

There are a wide range of kneepads on the market, broadly split into hard shell and soft shell/gel kneepads. Hard shell kneepads will provide the best protection from ‘sharps’ but they can be slippy when resting on roofing timbers.

Make sure you choose a style that has some grip. Soft shell pads tend to be more comfortable and allow more grip, as they ‘mould’ to the surface. However, you need to look at the specification to see whether they are strong enough to prevent penetration from ‘sharps’ such as nails and hidden roof brackets.

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