Sector

09 November 2021

Back to basics: treatment reports

TECHNICAL | PPC105 NOVEMBER 2021

Q: As a professional, what’s the best way to protect yourself from legal action when working with harmful chemicals and specialist equipment in homes and businesses?

A: A pest management treatment report.

Back to Basics Pest Managment Treatment Reports PPC magazine

There may be times in your career when you’re asked to justify the work you have carried out.

It could be that you’ve installed bird control netting, and members of the public have complained that it’s harmful.

Or maybe you carried out an insecticide treatment in a residential property, and now that customer is accusing you of poisoning their pet.

These aren’t crazy examples; we’ve heard all of this and more.

But a thorough and honest account of the actions you have taken, and the products you have used during your work, can help you if a customer brings legal action against you (or simply threatens to do so).

When an end-user employs a professional pest management company, be it residential or commercial, they will have certain expectations, including:

  • Clear, detailed information on what you’ve done
  • Any recommendations made
  • Any pesticides that may have been used.

This is your treatment report. A treatment report will form part of your evidence or defence, should you need to show that you carried out the appropriate actions, safety measures, information sharing and visit quantities.

Legislation – the highlights

Some pieces of legislation you’ll need to keep in mind when carrying out your pest management work and to write up the subsequent report are:

  • Biocidal Product Regulations (BPR) 2012 - (label conditions)
  • Control of Pesticide Regulations (COPR) 1986 - (label conditions)
  • Health and Safety At Work Act 1974
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regs 2002
  • Animal Welfare Act 2006
  • Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

These pieces of legislation may be used in a case against you, and if you do not record your activities thoroughly, you have no way of proving you followed the law correctly.

The essentials

As you know, being a BPCA member means following our Codes of Best Practice. We have one for report writing, and the following items are included in it.

These must always be carried out or followed, whether it is in handwritten or electronic format. Verbal communication, on its own, is not acceptable.

  1. Every visit you carry out, you must complete a detailed report and leave a copy with the customer.
  2. If you have multiple customers (eg landlords with tenants), you must ensure the occupier of the premises has details on the actions taken and the pesticides used. This must be done directly, in addition to the paying customer.
  3. If you have any recommendations for hygiene, proofing, and housekeeping, these must be recorded on the report.
  4. Reports must be dated.
  5. Information on any chemicals used must be provided. The active ingredient, trade name, quantity and location (eg ‘behind kickboards in the kitchen’) should all be included as a minimum.
  6. Reports must have a customer signature or electronic confirmation, which shows they have read and understood the treatment report.
  7. Reports must have the technician’s name and signature and must be legible.
  8. Any warnings must be discussed and recorded with the customer (eg ‘do not go into the treatment area until dry’).
  9. Any post-treatment requirements must be included within the report or in a supporting document.
  10. Any relevant follow-up information must be stated on the report.

Don’t forget the free tools we provide!

Members can access templates for all kinds of things, including treatment reports, client log sheets and visit logs. It could also make you look professional to provide your customer with detailed information on the pest you are treating, and we have advice leaflets for the following:

  • Bed bugs
  • Birds
  • Cockroaches
  • Fleas
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Stored product insects
  • Squirrels
  • Wasps.
Download the Code

All BPCA Codes are freely available to download and review online.

bpca.org.uk/codes

Online CPD

An online CPD quiz based on this feature is now available on the BPCA website. BPCA affiliates can take a CPD quiz at any time.

bpca.org.uk/cpd-quiz or sign up at bpca.org.uk/affiliate

Source: PPC105

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