Posted on: 12 May 2021
Keeping your tenants safe from the dangers of pesticides
As a property owner it may be your responsibility to use or handle herbicides or pesticides; chemicals that deter pest animals and control nuisance weeds at your rental properties.
These products are very effective at keeping pests and unwanted plant growth at bay, but they contain chemicals that can pose serious health risks if not used properly. Remind yourself of some of these risks by taking a look at our guidance.
Make sure you read the label
Most of the information that you need to know about pesticide and herbicide safety can be found on the label.
Most labels will warn you about the dangers of becoming exposed to these types of chemicals, and what to if you do become exposed.
Labels may also recommend what type of PPE you will need to wear to stop you from ingesting or absorbing these chemicals, so be sure to use protective gear if you have it available.
If displayed, take note of the first aid instructions if you, a member of your team or a tenant becomes accidentally poisoned.
Applying the products
Labels also reference how to safely apply herbicides and pesticides so that you are less likely to become exposed when using them.
Labels will also have information about how to store the product so that only the right people with the correct training will be able to access these dangerous chemicals. There may also be information on how to dispose of the product if it goes past its use-by date.
Protecting yourself and others
The toxicity of these herbicides and pesticides cannot be neutralized or lessened in any way, otherwise, they wouldn’t work. However, here are some of the measures that you can put in place to prevent others from being adversely affected by the use of herbicides or pesticides.
- Wear clothing that will protect your skin, such as long-sleeve shirts, long trousers, non-absorbent gloves, rubber boots, eye protection, a mask or an apron. Consider giving a respirator or dust filters to anyone using herbicides or pesticides to prevent chemicals from getting into their lungs.
- Following the application of pesticides or herbicides, do not eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics or use the toilet straight away. Instead, remove any PPE and thoroughly wash hands before putting them anywhere near your face.
- Do not use pesticides in winds of more than 10mph, as this can blow the chemicals into areas you don’t want them, which could affect members of the general public.
- Use signage in the areas where you are using these chemicals to let people know that they could be in danger if they enter these areas without PPE.
Cleaning up after use
Once you have finished using a herbicide or pesticide, pour water in the container you used and rinse it thoroughly.
Chemicals can travel with you, into your car or your home, so once you have finished working with the chemicals, take off any PPE and thoroughly wash any parts of your body that they may have come into contact with.
Assume that any clothing that you have worn has been contaminated, and take these precautions:
- Remove contaminated gear before leaving the worksite.
- Put contaminated clothing in a plastic bag and wash it separately from other items of clothing.
- Any PPE, such as rubber boots, gloves or goggles, should be removed and cleaned before leaving the site.
Storing and disposing of chemicals
As we have already mentioned, storage and disposal information will usually be on the label of the bottle, but here are some general tips for storage and disposal:
- Keep the chemicals in the container that they came in.
- Store chemicals in a designated area when not being used.
- Check the recommended handling measure for disposing of any chemicals. Information can usually be found on the bottle. If not, ask a supervisor, consult an expert or visit the manufacturer’s website.
Property Owner insurance with Premierline
Every property owner in the UK, residential landlord or commercial landlord, will have insurance needs unique to them. This is why the insurance advisors at Premierline will assess your insurance requirements and find the right landlord insurance package for you.
Source: Zywave Inc. - Property Management Safety Matters: Focus on Safety When Using Pesticides
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