12 November 2019

Ask the technical team November 2019

Technical | PPC97 November 2019

Our technical team explore HSE legislation, vulnerable customers and snap traps in this issue.

When you’re a BPCA member you can get technical support whenever you need it via our experienced technical team. Here are just a few of the latest questions posed...


  • Check legislation updates via HSE and BPCA
  • Conduct a full risk assessment if a pregnant person is proximal to pest treatment
  • Check snap traps in line with best practice and by evaluating the whole scenario
  • Approach and inform customers who have unsafe conditions, then report if necessary.

Ask the technical team anything

How can I keep myself and my staff updated?

DEE REPLIES: Health and safety legislation is always best reviewed via the HSE website.

You can also sign up to ebulletins that inform you of changes or adaptations to health and safety practice.

If you are a member of BPCA then we will always keep in touch with you and let you know of changes in the industry.

You can also attend our Forums, seminars and events such as PPC Live and PestEx.

Here you can speak directly to BPCA and other industry professionals about what is new and changing.

Networking is a great way to keep up-to-date. BPCA’s technical team is always available on the telephone for members.

How often should I check break back traps?

DEE REPLIES: As there is no current legislation that governs the use of break back traps, this question does not have one simple answer! 

The answer will depend upon the site’s environmental conditions, the level of activity, the available access and site staff.

Let’s look at a common scenario: an inner-city, mid-sized restaurant serving evening meals has an established house mouse infestation within various locations around the kitchen, stores and miscellaneous area.

Break back traps have been found to be most effective.

How often should you check the traps?

Daily may be an initial approach because if the activity is high then catches may be numerous.

Daily visits will allow you to remove dead mice and reset the trap ready for its next visitor, equating to a quick and effective reduction in mice.

You could also employ the eyes of your client if they are happy to do so, there is no reason why they cannot report back to you when catches are found.

See the PMA Code of Best Practice on Humane Use of Break Back Traps.

What happens if someone is pregnant where I need to treat for insects?

NATALIE REPLIES: The management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, regulation 16, requires a risk assessment to be done in respect of new or expectant mothers.

Firstly, consider non-toxic methods.

Then, if you do need to use chemicals, make sure you use the least toxic product, pesticide-free if possible.

This is a requirement of CoSHH regulations too.

You need to consult product labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to ensure there are no warnings about use where there are pregnant women.

Always explain things to the individual and give clarity about what you are doing.

BPCA is here to help if you need to discuss it further.

What do I do if I am worried about the unsafe conditions of customers’ premises?

NATALIE REPLIES: If you have a customer that you feel is contravening any legislation ie public health, food hygiene, etc then the best approach is firstly to confront them about it.

Explain what the problem is and why they need to deal with it.

Offer to help too, if you can. Education and understanding are very powerful tools to get things done.

If this doesn’t work, and you feel worried about the safety of the public or anyone else, then you may want to report to the local authority, which can ensure action is taken.

Initially, this may make you feel uncomfortable, but it is the professional thing to do in some circumstances.

After all, we’re here to protect public health and safety.


Get in touch...
01332 294 288

Source: PPC97

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