Pest Perspectives - November/December 2015 - (Page 9)

feature INDECENT EXPOSURE: Stories of Pesticide Exposure Y ou have to think about safety all the time. We are trained for this at an early age with mantras such as: "Look both ways before crossing the street," "Tie your shoes," "Don't run with a knife," and "Stop, look, and listen." But sometimes life happens, and we slip, figuratively or literally. This leads to what I refer to as "indecent exposure." Many times nothing comes of the momentary lapse in our guard, but other times can lead to harmful effects. The EPA estimates the U.S. uses 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides annually.1 Most of that usage is in the agricultural realm, but there are many occupations that are at risk from pesticide exposure2, and one of those is the pest management industry. There are some pesticide exposures that come from areas | By Rebecca Baldwin, University of Florida you may not consider. One of those being tools intended to make our lives safer. In fact, over the past five years, poison control centers have seen a 400 percent increase in calls from children having ingested hand sanitizer. Something that should provide safety by killing germs can be dangerous if used improperly. The same can be true for things we identify as a "safety feature" of our job. Can you think of some examples? As we walk through pesticide exposure, we will discuss routes of entry and symptoms of exposure. Nearly every pest management company provides some sort of safety training for their employees, but many neglect to evaluate the program's effectiveness. Think about your company. What type of training do you provide? Do you follow up on the training by observing the behavior of employees and suggesting changes to increase safety? Just as a baseline from a national survey, companies that provide safety training for their employees indicated they give safety training on pesticides (94 percent), provided training about personal protective equipment (PPE) (90 percent), train on spill management (80 percent), cover ladder safety (52 percent), provide safe driving courses (49 percent), cover how to prevent trips and falls (34 percent), and train on electrocution and ground fault interrupters (30 percent).3 Nearly every company provided some safety Pest Perspectives 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pest Perspectives - November/December 2015

Message from FPMA Headquarters staff
Indecent Exposure: Stories of Pesticide Exposure
presidential perspective
The Advantage of Minimum Risk Pesticides
Best Practices for Exterior Bait Stations
capitol concerns
marketing matters
operational excellence
FPMA corner
advertiser index

Pest Perspectives - November/December 2015