Feature articles

22 September 2020

Are you ready for a Covid-19 Secure HSE inspection?

With HSE and Local Authorities ramping up their inspection activity, it’s more important than ever that your pest management company is Covid-secure.

Are you ready for a HSE inspection blog Covid 19 support for pest control

Nothing about the pandemic has been easy for small business owners, especially pest management companies.  

Health and safety are at the top of all our agendas. We all want to protect staff and clients, and operating during a pandemic comes with extra safety concerns.

HSE and Local Authorities will use their enforcement powers if they find that an organisation has not implemented good enough Covid-secure safety measures. Measures can include written notices or shutting a business down.

Employees are also being encouraged to report unsafe workplaces if they’re concerned about the lack of Covid-19 precautions, so you now have the added pressure of whistleblowing from within your team.

Covid-19 Secure checklist for pest management companies

1. Read the BPCA “BECOMING COVID-19 SECURE” guidance document and implement recommendations  

This is available for everyone to download here for free.

2. Undertake your Covid-19 risk assessment 

BPCA members can download a template here (log in required).

3. Make sure staff understand the Covid-19 protocols

There is no point in implementing new safety measures if your team don’t know what’s expected of them - why not have a toolbox talk? Members can download a Template here (log in required)

4. Maintain two metres social distancing 

This needs to be applied in your own office and whilst on a job around your clients. If you can’t, what else are you putting in place to protect people (masks, screen protectors, one-way systems etc)? If you’re a member, we’ve got some free signage available for you to download (log in required). 

5. Make sure extra hygiene measures are in place

Increase cleaning around the office, vans and shared equipment - consider hiring a professional cleaning company if you don’t already. Make sure your van has plenty of cleaning supplies and PPE. 

6. Enforce measures and monitor your team’s behaviour 

Correct mistakes and make sure your business has a safe Covid-secure culture.

How to pass covid secue inspection pest management company control BPCA

Download 'Becoming Covid-19 secure'


Need support and advice?

BPCA members get free technical, health and safety support as part of their membership.

Contact enquiry@bpca.org.uk or call 01332 294 288.


Common issues inspectors are finding

Our research suggests that HSE and Local Authority inspectors are finding the same common mistakes across many workplaces. Don’t fall into these common traps:

Your team doesn’t understand the mitigation measures you’ve put into place or compliance is not being enforced

You need to engage with your staff and communicate the measures you’ve put into place. There is no point having procedures written down if nobody is aware of what’s expected of them when they're working and when the inspector visits. Staff being flippant about arrangements in place or failing to demonstrate awareness and compliance will not serve the business well.

Cleaning policy doesn’t address critical risks

If you’re not following through with a suitable cleaning regime, your inspector may pick up on it.

Staff aren’t social distancing properly

You need to make sure you enforce social distancing and gently correct behaviour as you spot it. Social distancing is essential, and your inspector will pick up on it if distancing is not properly observed. 

REMEMBER: If an HSE, Local Authority or Environmental Health inspector turns up at your workplace, you must give them access.

Risk of employees claiming against your company

It’s not just the inspectors visiting that you need to be mindful of in terms of Covid-19 compliance.

Every employee has the right to feel safe in their workplace, and some staff members might understandably be worried about having to continue at or return to work amidst a pandemic.

There is a potential for claims to be made by employees against their employer if they feel like they’ve not been adequately safeguarded.

Failing to enforce safety compliance could give rise to a claim because it’s a breach of your duty to look after your employees’ health and safety.

Encouraging and enforcing compliance to Covid-19 safety measures

As employers, we all need to make an effort to check our new policies are being adhered to.

Everyone needs to follow the rules BPCA Covid secure pest management company

Every employee, from the technicians on the ground to the senior managers, needs to understand and follow your workplace rules.

BPCA suggests you go through a simple enforcement process to make sure your staff are safe and you’re covered.

  1. Understand your policies
  2. Communicate the policies with everyone
  3. Provide training on how to stay compliant
  4. Enforce measures with checks, daily or weekly
  5. Correct non-compliant behaviours as you see them
  6. Consider formal action for repeat non-compliant behaviour.

Got an HR issue?

BPCA members get free access to expert HR advice through BPCA Business Shield. Contact enquiry@bpca.org.uk or call 01332 294 288.

bpca.business-shield.co.uk


becoming-covid-19-secure-guide-for-pest-professionals

Record everything

Although we’ve focused on the importance of people following procedures and their actions, it’s still vital to have everything written down too.

Record your compliance checks, your staff training, your policies and anything else that shows you’re taking the pandemic seriously.

While the increased H&S considerations place an increased burden on our businesses, we need to remember these measures are being taken for the right reasons.

We all have the responsibility to keep ourselves, our staff and our clients as safe as possible. Pest professionals are no strangers to taking health and safety seriously. Failing to do so will put your company at risk.

Stay safe.

SUPPORT AND HELP

If you’re a member of BPCA, we’ve got a team to help get you through the Covid-19 pandemic. We understand the extra burden Covid-19 places on small business, so make sure you ask for any help that you need.

If you’re not already a member, ask us about how you can join the pest management association today.

01332 225 112
membership@bpca.org.uk

MORE COVID-19 SUPPORT

For the most up to date information for pest management companies and Covid-19 visit 

bpca.org.uk/covid19

Source: Online

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