WorkCover Launches Pest Verification Program for NSW
In October 2013, WorkCover NSW launched their Pest Verification Program to ensure that pesticide management and applications are being carried out in a safe manner by certified Pest Controllers.
With the Pest Verification Program in place, inspections of pest businesses will be allocated randomly. However, regardless of whether you’re up for an official inspection, making sure your Pest Control operations are compliantis essential.
What Will Be Inspected During the Pest Verification Program?
Here’s what we’ve heard from some of our clients who have been audited so far:
1. Technicians & Staff: Inspectors will be checking that Pest Management Technicians are properly certified, with training records also required for trainees.
2. Pesticides: In regards to pesticides,labelling of chemicals, hazardous chemical registers and risk management controls for hazardous chemicals will also come under scrutiny.
3. Equipment: All pesticide equipment and personal protective equipment will need to be shown they are used in an appropriate manner. Evidence of safe storage and ongoing maintenance of equipment will also be required.
4. Health & Safety: Inspectors will also be looking at how you manage spill containment and clean ups. Storage and signage of pesticides will be reviewed, along with any other health procedures and risks plans.
A Checklist For All Pest Controllers
To help you achieve compliance and meet the WorkCover NSW standards, our team at Agserv has put together this easy checklist to give you a better understanding of what is required.
We’ve based this list on feedback from the industry, as well as our prior knowledge of WorkCover standards:
Technicians and Staff
q Do all employees who apply pesticides hold a PMT certificate of competency?
q Do all trainees who apply pesticides do so with direct supervision? Is a record of training maintained? If trainees do not need supervision, is there evidence of competency achieved?
q Do all training records contain (1) name & address of both trainee and business, (2) names of all supervisors, (3) description of work completed, (4) dates work was completed?
Hazardous Chemicals & Pesticides
q Are all chemicals correctly labelled according to APVMA requirements?
q Are all labels written in English?
q Do hazard chemical statements display the correct classification of each chemical?
q Do precautionary statements display the correct classification of each chemical?
q Are chemicals stored in a way so they will not contaminate any foods, food packaging or personal products?
q If you store excess volumes of chemicals (above manifest quantities), have you notified WorkCover?
q For Decanted Chemicals that are not to be used immediately – Are these correctly labelled and do they display the Product Identifier and the right Pictogram or Hazard Statement? (Note: If Decanted Chemicals are used straight away and the container is cleaned immediately, this labelling requirement does not apply)
q Are the correct safety signs displayed next to each chemical, hazard or storage facility?
q Are signs clearly visible to anyone approaching the chemical or hazard?
q Do you have Safety Data Sheets for all hazardous chemicals on your site? Do they comply with Australian requirements?
q All SDS’s must:
o Be written in English
o Use a 16 header format
o Contain this information: Supplier, Emergency Contacts, Exposure Standards, Legislations and a Statement showing it was reviewed in the last 5 years
q Do you have a Compliant Register of Chemicals that have been used, handled or stored on your site? Is it easily accessible to employees?
q Does your Compliant Register include current SDS’s for all current chemicals? Do these SDS’s inform safe work procedures?
Personal Protective Equipment
q Do you adequately provide Personal Protective Equipment to your technicians whenever required? Is all PPE easily accessible?
q Is all equipment clean and in good, working order? Is regular maintenance carried out? How can you prove this?
q Do you have details on the type of respirators used, filter types and glove types?
q Is each item of PPE suitable to the pesticide being used? Does it fit the worker properly?
q Is each item of PPE worn during pesticide applications? How do you manage/track or provide evidence of this?
q Have all technicians been trained on how to use/wear and store all PPE?
Health Safety & Monitoring
q Is there evidence that you proactively manage the health/safety risks of handling, using and storing hazardous chemicals and pesticides on your site?
q Do you assess the health risks associated with hazardous chemicals before you purchase them? (What are the hazardous properties of each chemical? How many workers will be exposed? How much exposurewill there be for each task? Are exposure standards likely to be exceeded?)
q Do you also assess how chemicals will react with other chemicals on site or used in applications? The effect of each chemical on structures, plants and other systems of work?
q Have technicians been informed of the necessity of health monitoring prior to using the chemicals and pesticides?
q If a technician is exposed to a hazardous chemicaland a significant risk is reached, is health monitoring undertaken?
q Are health monitoring procedures carried out by a registered medical practitioner? If so, who are they? You will need to provide a name, address and contact number.
q Do you cover all costs of health monitoring, without passing these costs onto your workers or another party?
q Are all health monitoring reports compliant? Do they include the worker’s: name, DOB, name and rego number of RMP, name/address of your business, date the monitoring was carried out, all test results, advice/recommendations from the practitioner, requirements for medical counselling?
q Do you obtain and record a copy of all health monitoring reports once the monitoring has been undertaken? What system do you use for this?
q Do you follow up and implement all advice and recommendations provided by the medical practitioner? (e.g. remedial measures, removal of worker)
q Do you retain your reports for at least 30 years?
q Do you provide the worker with a copy of their report?
q Do you have a list of risk management controls that show how exposure is reduced in relation to chemicals and pesticides? What are the controls used in the areas of: Safe Work Procedures, Training and Supervision?
q What systems are in place to contain and manage spills? Do you have an accessible spill kit?
q Do you utilise chemical bunds?
q If a spill occurs, are there provisions that address potential mixing of incompatible chemicals?
q Do you have evidence of you how maintain, change, test, install, regulate and repair systems and risk management procedures in relation to your changing needs/operations?
q If an SDS changes, do you have a process for reviewing risk control measures?
q If health risks or operations change,do you have a process for reviewing risk control measures?
q If air monitors indicate the exposure standard is being surpassed, how do you review risk control procedures?
q Have all Electricals on your site been correctly tagged?
q If you operate/service rural or bush areas, do you have appropriate snake bite kits?
At Agserv, our goal is to help you perform better and stay compliant with WorkCover regulations. This is not only a necessity from a legal point of view, but also for the benefit of your employees and technicians.
Got a question about the WorkCover program or about the requirements laid out above? Contact Eris Hess today on: 0296472111 or email [email protected]