Do-It-Yourself Pest Control Tactics for the Workplace

Earlier this month, seven Kansas Department of Revenue employees were placed on administrative leave after a bed bug infestation was discovered in one of their office buildings. All employees were even required to inspect their homes for bedbugs before returning to work.

Believe it or not, pest infestations in the workplace are more common than you think. In fact, this year in the Central US, 87.1 percent of companies saw an increase in bed bug activity.

Beyond bed bugs, other pests to watch out for in the workplace include: ants, fruit flies, gnats, beetles, and moths. Pests like these are not only a potential health risk for everyone in the workplace, they cause a horrible first impression for guests or clients.

But, fear not, we’ve compiled a list of warning signs to watch out for, along with some of the best pest control solutions you can easily integrate into your own workplace.

Preventative Pest Control Measures

To prevent pest infestations from happening in the first place, consider implementing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. An IPM program can be used to manage pests anywhere—in urban, agricultural, wildland, or natural environments. Think of IPM as the strategy your workplace will use to solve any pest problems that might arise, while minimizing risks to staff and the environment.

IPM programs detect pests at the earliest stages and combat them before they can become a major problem. Simple preventative measures and do-it-yourself pest control tactics can be posted in common areas to educate staff. Here are some key points to include:
• Keep food in sealed containers, and clean dirty dishes at the end of each workday.
• Ensure trash cans have plastic liners, and empty them every night.
• Refrain from leaving fruit on your desk overnight. Instead, place it in the refrigerator or bring it home.
• Keep the workplace as clutter-free as possible. Store items in cabinets, racks, or bins.
• Be careful not to overwater plants, which can lead to gnat infestations.
Setting up an IPM program can be as simple as writing up a check list to review monthly and keeping records of any pest-causing problems.

Educate Your Staff on the Specifics

Local pest control services can end up costing your company thousands of dollars, so whether you already have an infestation or not, it’s best to train your workforce to take all preventative pest control measures seriously. Educating your entire staff is the easiest way to prevent an infestation.

Pests will enter buildings in many ways: through cracks and holes in the walls, gaps around pipes, or even on workers’ clothing. Some will target places with poor sanitation, while others move indoors to avoid the cold or locate vital resources.

Pests like bed bugs attach themselves to furniture or personal items—they suck blood at night and leave itchy bite marks on arms and shoulders. Cockroaches can come from dark, unsanitary places and carry bacteria that can contaminate food. Spiders feed on other pests, but also wander around before settling in undisturbed places. And depending on where you live, some invasive pests are venomous, so having a standard medical procedure in place is critical, should an issue ever arise.

If you see a pest crawling around your workplace, take care of it as quickly as possible, and inspect the rest of the office for potential causes.

Here are some basic tips for conducting pest inspections:

• Check potted plants, which attract a variety of major pests.
• Make sure there are no cracks and holes in the walls or vents—seal them if found.
• Properly contain or package food or other items.
• Make sure your custodian empties your trash bins regularly.
• Clean up any workplace spills, especially sticky or sugary substances.

Pest Control Supplies to Clean Your Workplace and Prevent Infestation

US Standard Products offers a full line of environmentally-friendly cleaning products for industrial and janitorial applications—read about these ready-to-use solutions, here.

In addition to a variety of cleaning products, US Standard Products also offers two insecticides that are safe to use inside the workplace:

1. The Haunt-II Residual can drive a wide variety of crawling insects from their hiding places and contaminate whole colonies with long-term residual control, making it an ideal product for industrial and institutional use.
2. The Eradicate Insecticide is a fast-acting, water-based formula with botanical insecticide pyrethrum that works without leaving any stain, residual, or objectionable odors. Able to control or kill crawling and flying insects on contact, the Eradicate is a bed bug’s worst nightmare.

Utilizing these insecticides is easy, just use a power-operated or hand-held spray to lightly cover areas. Make sure the surface is dry before allowing anyone into the treated area.

Start exploring your workplace pest control options by downloading our free catalogue or calling 844-877-1700. To stay up-to-date on the latest in workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media: Google+ | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

How to Decorate Your Office for the Holidays Safely

From hanging lights outside, to decorating around the department, the holiday spirit is likely to take over your office this season. While many large businesses opt to hire a professional decorating company, smaller organizations often choose to decorate themselves. Along with a fun and easy team-building activity, decorating your office yourself also means that the final product will have a more personal touch. As you and your co-workers deck the cubicle walls, keep in mind the following five safety tips.

1. Refrain from Decorating Safety Equipment

It may seem harmless to spruce up those safety fixtures you never seem to use like emergency lights or exit signs, but it’s best to leave them untouched. Not only could your decorations violate OSHA regulations, they might stop the systems from functioning properly. All alarms, detectors, sprinklers, extinguishers, and signs should be easily visible and accessible. Plus, you never know when those dusty lights might spring into action and be needed.

2. Stay Steady on Ladders

With ladders in OSHA’s top 10 workplace hazards, there’s never a bad time to review and practice ladder safety. Make sure ladders are tall enough so that you don’t have to stand on the top step or your tiptoes to complete the job. It might take a little longer, but it’s important to move the ladder often so that you are not leaning or off-balance. Have someone secure the bottom of the ladder so that it’s steady. This way, everyone gets to enjoy the season without any holiday hospital bills.

3. Leave Exits and Pathways Clear

You might get carried away with holiday cheer as you are decorating, but you don’t want to trip under the mistletoe, especially in the event of an emergency. Make sure to leave doorways and main walkways clear of larger items like Christmas trees, but also smaller ones to avoid any blockages, trips, or other workplace accidents. These might include trinkets such as gifts or ornaments that passersby might bump into accidentally. Leaving room for people to come and go allows for the fun to flow freely as you celebrate with holiday activities.

4. Secure all Wires and Cords

You wouldn’t choose for anyone to get tangled up in your decorations even if they are caught up in the joy of the holidays. To keep everyone safe and decorations where you placed them, fasten loose cords and wires to appropriate surfaces. Ensure that cables lie flat on all surfaces so that no one accidentally pulls them away from where they should be. Wrapping up an extra long cord also helps to make clean up easier, not that we’re anywhere near ready to be done with the festivities!

5. Fireproof your Decor

Keep that fire extinguisher on the shelf this year by making sure that all electronic elements are away from flammable items like curtains, chairs, or coats. Check wires to ensure that they are not fraying or worn thin. Make sure to turn off electronic decorations overnight to prevent them from overheating and potentially melting nearby or encasing plastic. Also use battery-powered candles instead of open flames to ensure that nothing but ice will be melting this holiday season.

As you decorate your office this winter, US Standard Products, a nationwide provider of quality operational and safety products, has the gear you need to do so safely. Contact us today at 844-877-1700 to learn how we can help you prepare for the holidays in the safest way possible.

To stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media:

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Avoiding Commercial Property Hazards

A safety checklist for building and property managers.

Compared to many labor-intensive jobs, office workers have it pretty easy—at least when it comes to taking rigorous safety precautions. While a spilled cup of coffee or an open file drawer can certainly cause harm, the dangers involved in office settings often pale in comparison to those present in industrial or manufacturing worksite environments.

But that doesn’t mean that commercial building and property managers are off the hook on the safety front. Even though office buildings aren’t typically equipped with heavy machinery, complicated equipment, and dangerous chemicals, there are still a number of hazards that tenants can face. Not only should you take action to keep those on your property safe, you also will want to take precautions against a potential lawsuit.

Here, we’ve put together a quick checklist to help those in charge of property maintenance keep their buildings, grounds, and tenants safe and sound.

Keep Parking Lots and Sidewalks Clear

To keep your walkways clear of snow and ice in the winter months, we can’t reiterate enough the importance of using ice melt. But even as the ground begins to thaw, you’ll need to be on the lookout for cracking pavement, potholes, and other structural issues that could pose a trip hazard. Year-round, be sure you’re regularly monitoring the condition of your grounds—patch up any problem areas, pick up trash, and make sure that traffic markers are clearly visible.

Prevent Indoor Falls

Falls are the #1 cause of office injury, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. In fact, employees are 2.5x more likely to be injured from a fall in an office setting than anywhere else. Here are a number of tips to prevent falls indoors:

  • Provide small ladders or step stools for each office in your building—too often, tenants try to use dangerous swivel chairs to reach highly-placed items.
  • Be sure to line any potentially slippery surfaces, such as building entryways, with a skid-resistant treatment or carpet.
  • If your building has many sharp turns, place mirrors in the corners to help workers avoid collisions.
  • On multi-level buildings, stairwells are often neglected by cleaning crews. To ensure safety, make sure they’re consistently swept, and all handrails are in tact.
  • All trip and slip hazards—whether an exposed electrical cord, or a freshly mopped floor, should always be marked in yellow for maximum visibility.

Create a Hazard Reporting System

Property managers aren’t typically on-site at all times. To ensure that all potential dangers are noted and addressed, we recommend implementing a hazard reporting system. Whether you provide a comment box in the main lobby, or set up an online ticketing system, by offering workers the opportunity to share what they see, you’ll be able to maximize your awareness of potential problems and minimize the danger to tenants.

Need new safety supplies and equipment for your commercial property? US Standard Products is an industrial supplies distributor based in New Jersey. We provide a wide range of operational and safety necessities including ice melt, work gloves, and much more. To stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media:

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