PCOC Loss Control Focus Focusing on the three top injury areas for our employees* Issue 1 of 12

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1 Issue 1 of 12 Area of Focus: All loss areas INSPECT YOUR JOBSITE PRIOR TO STARTING WORK: When we service any facility, especially residences, one of the largest hazards we face are the many trip, fall and other unknown hazards which await us as we enter these properties. One of the most crucial and effective means to reduce injuries at workplaces is to a walkthrough safety inspections of each jobsite prior to starting any work. This is required by your written injury and illness prevention program in compliance with CCR T and other applicable regulations. A jobsite inspection prior to performing work enables the field employee to identify trip and fall hazards, and take appropriate steps to address them. When used properly these inspections will reduce claims across the board. In some cases you will need to leave the site until you have procured particular safety equipment, or until the property owner addresses the hazard on the site. One of the things you must do is take great care while performing your pre-work jobsite inspection as to not injure yourself during this inspection. Trip hazards rate are among the most common hazard we run into at our jobsites, so it is crucial we take extra care not to fall victim of a fall while we are performing a pre-work inspections! Walk forwards, (not backwards) and watch where you step as you conduct this preliminary inspection of your jobsite. help identify a host of hazards, and aid in your planning your job so you can address virtually all hazards posed at each jobsite. In many of the settings where we work, landscape rocks, sprinkler heads, garden hoses and other objects in yards are common objects which can pose a tripping hazard. You need to look for other unsafe hazards such as the illegal and incomplete guardrails on this deck around this small home. The slope of this property also poses a slip and fall hazard, and due to some of the drops in the terrain, a higher likelihood of more severe injuries.

2 Issue 2 of 12 Area of Focus: Slips, Trips & Falls YARD TRIP HAZARDS There are many slip, trip and fall hazards found in the yard of a typical pest control customer. Landscape rocks, sprinkler heads, garden hoses and other objects in yards are common objects which can pose a tripping hazard. Walk forwards, and watch where you step. One of the common causes of some of slip, trip and fall claims are among PCOC members is generated by techs keeping their eyes on the eve of the structure and not watching where their feet are stepping. It is true that pest techs and wood destroying pests and organisms inspectors spend time inspecting or treating structural eves, but when doing so they must be extra vigilant, and pay at least as much attention to where they are walking as well. This may mean it will take a few seconds or minutes longer to complete your walk around a structure, but those seconds will be richly rewarded as individuals, companies and as an industry through fewer worker injuries.

3 Issue 3 of 12 Area of Focus: Slips, Trips & Falls DON T JUMP DOWN Another signficant cause for some of these trips and falls are caused by employees who take shortcuts as they walk through a customer s property and structures. Rather than stay on clear paths techs frequently take shortcuts such as climbing over barriers, down and across rail-road tie landscape walls rather than taking a few extra moments to take the established path or to move or go around a barrier. Another cause of actual injuries to employees have been injuries caused by employees jumping down off landscaping terraces, backs of trucks or other elevated surfaces. NEVER, NEVER jump! In one fairly recent case an employee was servicing a customers property similar to what is pictured above, and in the course of the service did not want to take the time to walk back to steps or gradual decline to the lower level. Instead the technician jumped down to the lower level and cause himself serious injury. This individual may have made similar jumps during the course of their lifetime and never been injured but in this case they twisted their knee and did other injury to their body. This injury was entirely unnecessary. That employee should have never jumped, but instead walked down safely. Even one or two foot height jumps down can potentially cause injury. Never jump from any elevated surface, no matter the circumstances.

4 Issue 4 of 12 Area of Focus: Slips, Trips & Falls: DO NOT WALK BACKWARDS We should avoid walking backwards at all costs. Some companies have policies where technicians walk backwards while performing services to ensure they do not walk through the materials they are applying pesticides. The PCOC Insurance Program recommends companies implement policies which prohibits walking backwards due to injuries sustained by employees tripping over items or falling into holes when walking backwards. If you are treating properly there is no reason why you can t walk forwards and make your application in such a manner that you do not have to walk through your materials. When walking forwards you still have to physically watch where you are going. When you are inspecting eves or using a webster, or any other task which causes you to look above your head, you must stop when looking up and then look back down and watch where you step when you begin walking again. Historically within the pest control industry in California there have been multiple injuries to pest technicians walking into spas in the ground causing significant injury. In one situation in the 1990s a technician walked into an open septic tank which was being repaired. The technician broke his leg and was trapped inside the septic tank. It took several hours before he was discovered and rescued.

5 Issue 5 of 12 Area of Focus: Slips, Trips & Falls: STAIRS ARE HAZARDOUS It would be nice is every set of stairs in our customers homes and yards were identical and all of them met the ideal OSHA and building standards. The reality is we encounter stairs, and steps in our customers homes and yards which are uneven, too steep, too narrow, without hand rails and other issues which make them difficult and dangerous to negotiate. Always use a handrail, or if there is no hand rail you should use any other hand holds which are available. Do not assume that stairs will be even in width, or height. You need to carefully look where you step, anticipating that the steps WILL NOT be even or level.

6 Issue 6 of 12 Area of Focus: Slips, Trips & Falls: LADDER DANGERS Every employee goes through ladder safety training appropriate to their particular job position and the extent to which they might have the need to use a ladder. Virtually all ladder accidents can be traced back to the misuse of the ladder. Never use a ladder unless you have been trained. Always inspect your ladder prior to use. If the ladder is unsafe do not use it! Red-tag the ladder and report the ladder to your supervisor to have it destroyed and replaced. Never use a metal ladder when performing any electrical work including changing light bulbs. Always secure straight ladders by having a second person hold the ladder, or by tying them off, or by the use of one of the various tools which can help minimize the opportunity for a ladder to slip. When setting up a straight ladder use the four to one rule: for every foot the ladder goes up vertically, the feet should be one foot away from the surface you are climbing. As a rule of thumb when a straight ladder is set up correctly you should be able to grasp the ladder with your arms fully extended when standing at the base of the ladder.

7 Issue 7 of 12 Area of Focus: Slips, Trips & Falls: FALL PROTECTION PROGRAMS Companies who have employees exposed to heights, such as performing bird or other vertebrate work, performing WDO repairs at height or any other work performed at height should have detailed training programs and standard operating procedures: 1. Ladder Safety: All field employees are given formal ladder safety training which includes mandates to tie off / secure ladders pursuant to OSHA mandates. 2. Introduction to Fall Protection: All field employees are given formal fall protection training. This is a general course and explains the hazards, the things we can do to address hazards, guardrail standards, etc. 3. Aerial Lift Certification: Anyone using an aerial lift should successfully complete a one-day aerial lift class which includes classroom and hands on elements using both scissors and boom lifts. Aerial lift certified employees should then complete a pre-job safety meeting prior to using any lift wherein they review your policies, review the manual for the specific lift they have rented and perform a formal safety check of the lift. 4. Scaffold Erector Dismantler Competent Person: Anyone erecting, dismantling scaffolds or supervising employees on a scaffold must successfully complete a Scaffold Erector-Dismantler Competent person training. This all day class typically will include classroom and hands on elements where the student builds and dismantles a multiple level scaffold. Only these individuals designated as Scaffold Erector-Dismantler Competent person should assemble/erect a scaffold, or disassemble/break down a scaffold. A Scaffold Erector-Dismantler Competent person must inspect the scaffold before any employees get onto a scaffold (this assumes the scaffold was left on a jobsite overnight) and a Scaffold Erector-Dismantler Competent person must be onsite anytime anyone is on a scaffold. Scaffold users go through a shorter training program and can only work under the direct-and-personal (on site) supervision of a Scaffold Erector- Dismantler Competent person. 5. Fall Protection Competent Person: Anyone actually working at height must successfully complete either Fall Protection Competent Person training or Fall Protection User training. This is above and beyond basic introduction to fall protection training that all field employees should have.

8 Issue 8 of 12 Area of Focus: Strains, including twisting injuries: STRAINING AND TWISTING IN CONFINED SPACES Attics and subareas are tight working spaces which require we take extra care to reduce the likelihood of strain and twisting injuries. Just the physical act of negotiating many attic and subarea access hatches requires great agility and skill. Performing stretching exercises has been demonstrated to reduce injuries in virtually all classes of workforces, ranging from clerical to heavy construction. It is essential that technicians are warmed up and stretch prior to entering these tight spaces. Wear your PPE, which at a minimum should include your safety glasses, appropriate respirator, and bump cap. When negotiating and working in these spaces technicians need to move slowly, and deliberately. Performing structural repairs in these tight spaces requires further planning and coordination to ensure the employee is not pulling and pushing from awkward angles which will cause strain injuries.

9 Issue 9 of 12 Area of Focus: Strains, including twisting injuries: LIFTING Improper lifting continues to be one of the main culprits of strain injuries to workers in every industry. Specifically within the PCOC Insurance Program back strains caused by incorrect lifting is one of the most common. Many people are under the mistaken understanding that they will only hurt their back when lifting heavy objects. It is possible to cause a lifting injury with as little as pounds. Without going into a full lifting training program here, the two biggest problems are bending over to lift instead of squatting to lift, and twisting the torso while lifting. While there is a lot we can say on this topic, and we cover proper lifting in some detail in other training programs, we can prevent a lot of injuries by just following the basics. Never lift with your back. Lift by bending your legs, moving into a squatting position and lift with your legs. When possible break loads down into smaller, lighter packages to lift. Large, heavy, and awkward to pick up and carry object should be broken down, or lifted with two or more people, or assistance tools should be utilized rather than attempt to pick up something you should not.

10 Issue 10 of 12 Area of Focus: Strains, including twisting injuries: ERGONOMICS Ergonomics or the lack of proper ergonomics plays an important factor in many of these claims. Injuries related to poor ergonomic practices, and material handling is a growing area of worker injuries for our industry. Your workstation may be a computer station at a desk, or more likely a service vehicle in the field. Both are workstations and both require you to use proper ergonomic and material handling decisions and habits. Many strain injuries can be minimized through changing the set-up of vehicles and other workstations to promote better ergonomics. In an office setting it is crucial that your workstation is set up properly and that you use the workstation properly. Sit upright and with your keyboard and mouse in a neutral position in front of you. Your monitor should be the correct height and distance from your face, and you should take short breaks to stretch your hands, wrist and rest of your body. Even when we have set up ergonomically ideal workstations we have to train employees how to work in a manner which does not put them at risk. We need to address ergonomic engineering and behaviors for all our workstations, be it a computer-workstation for your clerical staff, or be a pest route or crew-work vehicle. We also need to teach our employees how to work in the field under diverse situations in the most ergonomically advantages methods possible.

11 Issue 11 of 12 Area of Focus: Vehicle Accidents: FOLLOWING DISTANCE: Motor vehicle accidents are not only costly in property damage, but injuries to pest management employees while operating vehicles is another of the top injuries we encounter. Of our vehicle accidents the most common is our drivers rear-ending other drivers. In these accidents we not only cause property damage, but frequently end up injuring the other party and ourselves. When driving a passenger vehicle you should have a 2-3 second following distance at a minimum at 3-5 seconds are ideal. When driving a service vehicle you should have 3-4 seconds following distance at a minimum and 4-6 seconds ideally. Double these distances in the rain! Look down the road seconds ahead of you to identify hazards early. This means looking well past the vehicle which is immediately in front of you!

12 Issue 12 of 12 Area of Focus: Vehicle Accidents: SAFE DRIVING PROGRAMS Here is a quick review of some of steps employers should take as part of a safe drivers program: 1) A clear, solid policy defining who is qualified to drive, and ongoing standards of performance for drivers 2) Screening of all incoming drivers, and excluding those with poor history 3) Ongoing screening of your drivers through the California DMV Pull Notice Program. This program requires management actions based on adverse changes to your drivers DMV records, such as coaching, retraining, and discipline 4) Driver monitoring program such as GPS, Dashboard-Camera- Accident-Recorder, or any of the other technologies available. While these technologies are wonderful, they are worthless unless an employer actively uses them as management tools to enforce your policies, coach drivers, and re-train and discipline drivers to effect a change in the drivers behavior. 5) Driver training and ongoing coaching: We have to view ourselves as professional drivers, and approach our training accordingly. We need to put our staff through new hire and ongoing defensive drivers training in conjunction with ridealong evaluations, so each driver can be coached based on his or her strengths and weaknesses as a driver.

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