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Should Your Company Have a Formal Policy for Dealing with Pesticide Spills?

dropped pesticide container leaking into drain
pest control truck rolled over on side
Whether a pesticide spill is small or large, a fast and correct response can prevent disaster
photo credits: top, © Pinto & Associates, Inc; bottom, © Brent Miles, iStockphoto


Because Good Decisions Are Tough to Make in an Emergency

With any pesticide, even a spill that appears minor can endanger the environment, other people, and even the technician himself, especially if the spill is mishandled. And a company's reputation can be ruined if a technician makes a poor response.

In the stress of the moment...say, for example, with a pesticide spill heading for the storm drain...a technician can find it difficult to remember the proper procedures, contacts, and reporting requirements.

To avoid disaster, every pest control company should have a written policy for workers to follow in case of a spill. The policy should summarize the responses required including spill control, safety procedures, and reporting requirements. The policy should be part of the company’s employee or policy manual.

A copy of the spill policy should be kept in every pest control vehicle (posted or inside a spill control kit, which also should be on every vehicle). A sample policy on spills is provided on this page...

Sample Company Policy on Pesticide Spills.

A related spill control reference is provided here in a PDF file...

Spill Control Procedures and Contacts (PDF)

...and it, too, should be carried on every service vehicle.



group training outdoors with roleplay
Pick one technician and have him deal with an imaginary spill
Photo © Marek Polchowski/iStockphoto

Training Tip:

To help insure that your technicians respond the way you want them to when a spill occurs, conduct group role-playing training sessions with them. Go out to a site. Pick one technician and tell him he's just had a spill. Describe it in gory detail.

After he struggles with the spill scenario for awhile, the rest of the group gets to critique his response. What would they do differently?

This type of training sticks with everyone.


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