Keeping accurate records and ensuring work is carried out thoroughly are just two ways avoid being exposed to claims when it comes to rodent jobs.
As autumn flourishes and conditions are less conducive to termites, we instead see an increase of pests such as rodents. Having provided insurance for over 25 years, Rapid Solutions has seen claims relating to these disease-carrying pests arising from a lack of planning, preparation and record-keeping.
One example is a club that had lost some alcohol. It had a pest control company doing monthly general pest services, and upon inspection they found that a line from the bulk vodka supply had been damaged by rodents. The entire container had emptied.
Bait stations were installed randomly around the cellar, but were open and contained pellet-type baits. The area was regularly hosed and very humid. Baits ended up moist and useless.
Simple regular inspection of these baits, reasonable forethought of possible entry points, and recording bait consumption would have saved the pest manager from being threatened with a claim. Luckily, the business owner enlisted the services of a new pest control operator and rectified the situation. With the problem solved, the business owner didn’t end up pursuing the claim.
There are a number of ways you can avoid risking your business and lower your likelihood of insurance claims by being thorough in your pre- and post-treatment efforts and any onsite operations.
This includes ensuring you are mindful of best practice PPE preparation for must-haves like goggles, gloves, respirators and safety shoes. Don’t just check they’re in your vehicle for every job and easily accessible, check weekly that they’re well maintained. You need them at optimum working capacity so you’re well protected.
How long has it been since you checked labels? Chemical labels are updated over time, and a formulation or ingredient change alters the chemical’s hazardous properties. Check, check and double check so you and your client are well protected. Then your business will be, too.
It’s also important to think about how you determine the appropriate quantity of bait to use. By keeping accurate records of the product amount used in each location, you can adjust bait station positioning to the appropriate areas.
Record-keeping is also paramount. Anyone in pest management should keep detailed records. All states and territories require you to maintain clear records about all aspects of chemical usage.
Ideally, record-keeping resides in one document per client, and makes note of the full name of rodenticides/ other chemicals used; treatment start and finish times; and target pests and application rates.
You should also create a Safe Work Method Statement for every business activity. This way, if a claim arises, you have the evidence needed to show you’ve planned and conducted safe work activity at every turn.
Just as no property is safe from pests, no business is immune to a serious insurance claim. Critically consider the need to safeguard your business with general liability and professional liability insurance.