The sites still need to meet the requirements of the Standard. Therefore the twin objectives for the safety of both the site employees and the pest controller need to be met whilst ensuring that product is also protected from any risks associated with the ingress of pests.
It is recognised that access to sites is currently challenging for many service providers due to the ongoing circumstances relating to Covid-19. In these situations the site is responsible for reviewing their processes to ensure the continued production of safe products and the site must therefore have sufficient controls in place to ensure this. It is the site’s responsibility to ensure they look at options and decide how this happens. It is not acceptable to simply cancel pest control activities.
We would expect that pest control operators have in place processes to safeguard their operators and ensure that they reduce the risk of introducing of coronavirus if they visit sites. This should also be challenged by sites. Pest control operators must of course comply with the site’s coronavirus management processes and any legislation in the country or region in which they are located.
Clearly not all manufacturing environments face the same risk from pests, this may depend for example, on type of products manufactured, age/construction of the site, pest history and seasonality. This needs to be considered when deciding how to proceed. Where the pest risk is considered high sites may need to accommodate a visit from their pest controller. Where pest control risks are considered to be low, pest control visits may be postponed for a short period as part of a site’s coronavirus control measures, however we would expect that internal controls such as pest awareness and reporting are increased and pest controllers are called wherever an issue is identified.
There are lots of options where pest control contractors can and should continue to assist their clients, including online support, video technology and training (for example virtual, online or answers to specific enquiries).
The Standard is used internationally and does permit pest management to be undertaken by the site where suitably trained individuals are available.
We have discussed pest control with a number of organisations, including the BPCA (British Pest Control Association) and agree and support their current advice and position.