We often refer to general pest control services as ‘fumigation’, but in fact ‘fumigation’ is a specialised pest service used mostly, but not limited to, exporting goods, the commercial food manufacturing industry. It is also used when large items or structures like homes are infested with wood boring or other insects and no other suitable treatment can be utilised.
Over the past few years, there have been a number of incidents where fumigation treatments have been carried out and have caused serious injury and in some cases, sadly, death. We only get to hear about the serious cases when they get media attention, but what about the near misses and how do we prevent such incidents?
In fumigation safety is everyone’s responsibility
As a responsible service provider who prides itself on safety and with our safety motto being ‘Ensuring everyone goes home safe”, we would like to share a few of our blogs highlighting some of the misconceptions about fumigation and also reiterate our safety standards when carrying out a fumigation treatment.
What is fumigation all about?
In our blog post Unpacking fumigation part 1, we share some insight into what fumigation is all about starting with ‘what is a fumigant?” and also providing the commonly used fumigants and what they can or cannot be used for. In part 2 we discussed the various types of fumigation treatments Rentokil are allowed to carry out as well as the strict safety standards we are obliged to follow.
We delved into what you need to know about fumigation in the fumigation process explained and how our operations and protocols will impact your business from start to finish. Our process starts with an assessment of what needs to be done, how we can carry out the work safely and successfully. We identify hazards and critical areas as well as the most effective type of fumigation for your treatment.
Sharing our expertise on fumigation
One of experts shared his thoughts and personal experience on fumigation and detailed some of his most challenging work, and the high risk involved in carrying out such fumigation treatments.
Safety is a BIG deal to us, and we brief our teams before each treatment on the risk identified in a detailed site risk assessment. We set contingency plans in the event of issues arising and keep everyone informed at regular intervals for the duration of the treatment.
Questions to ask your fumigator
These are some of the questions you should be asking before your next fumigation job is carried out:
- Are they registered with the Department of Agriculture, Forestries and Fishing, and are their staff qualified to carry out fumigation services?
- Is the company registered with various Industry bodies like SAPCA; do they follow guidelines from CORESTA for specific products or audit requirements from auditing bodies like GFSI, BRC, etc and what is their audit track record for specific commodities?
- Ask about their support structure and how many technicians will be required for the treatment you need.
- Find out what the various options are for the commodity you need to be fumigated and how long the process will take.
- The safety of your employees is imperative: find out what measures will be in place to keep staff safe for the duration of the treatment.
By asking these questions of your provider you should be assured that the safest, most effective fumigation service will be provided. Taking shortcuts and choosing a provider based purely on the lowest price could easily cost more in the long run or even an unwanted incident.