Safety Isn’t Random

I have been Employee 1090847, Employee 20321206, Employee 277563, and many others. What do all of these have in common? I am still an employee responsible for safety, no matter who I am working for or where I am doing the work.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Some of those E- numbers had me using pesticides. The tasks consisted of mixing, pouring, handling, applying, and once doing cleanup. Personal protective equipment was always part of the equation.

When I was in my first few years of pest management activities, I didn’t take the use of PPE too seriously. I was mixing a Dichlorvos solution, trying to pour from a 5 gallon container into small bottles used for an automatic air fogging system. It was only after I couldn’t stand the smell, that I put on my respiratory protection.

At this point, I had spilled chemicals on my pants, and shoes. It was puddled on the floor. In case you don’t know, that stuff is really greasy and hard to clean.

Awesome Fly Video

Note: This is NOT a proper spill cleanup, but a cool showing of how mouthparts work.

CREATE YOUR SPILL KIT

Your pest control service vehicle should have some type of spill clean up kit. It isn’t necessary to order a name brand kit from a supply distribution center. One can easily be make from the hardware store – as pictured below. Not contained in the kit is a respirator, but I know all of us have them in our possession.

Rubber gloves for handling the waste, trash bags for containing the waste, absorbing material for stopping the spread of the chemical spilled, dish soap for dilution, small hand broom & dust pan for clean up. All fits nicely in a bucket w/ lid for security and easy transport to the spill.

Remember to replace any items used from the Spill Kit immediately.

You Are Safe….Maybe?

Do you know what steps to take when a pesticide spill happens? Who do you call? There is going to be paperwork. Let’s review.

When you find the spill, notify others of the hazards. Control the spilled pesticide by closing valves, lids, etc. Grab your spill kit to contain the leaking chemicals and to assist with clean up. These minimum procedures will lessen risk to others.

Depending on the quantity and type of pesticide spill, proper authorities must be notified. Documentation of the incident is critical.

Here are a couple of phone numbers that are helpful: 911 & ChemTrec- 800-262-8200.

Published by Melisa Arnold, A.C.E.

My career in pest management began while working in a flour mill as the “in-house” technician in 2008. I am certified in multiple states including a DOT CDL/HazMat. I began working full time as a fumigation-pest control tech in 2010. I achieved my Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) in 2018. I have a Master Tech certification from Kansas State University/Kansas Pest Control Association. I hold a Bat Management certification from NWCOA. Every day, I realize how much I DON’T KNOW. My goal for this blog is to share my every day experiences from the field and to make us all think outside the box for solutions to make pest control make sense.

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