Pest control is important because pests can carry harmful bacteria that can cause illness, bites or stings. These can also be a general nuisance causing damage to vegetation and buildings.
Pests are animals, birds or insects that can contaminate premises either directly or indirectly.
- Rodents e.g. rats and mice.
- Insects e.g. flies, cockroaches, beetles, ants, wasps, bees and various insects that can be found in stored products.
- Birds e.g. pigeons, crows, seagulls, starlings and sparrows.
Under Section 1 of the Pests Act 1954 much of the UK (except for the City of London, the Isles of Scilly and Skokholm Island) can be designated as a Rabbit Clearance Area.
In this area, every occupier of land (including golf clubs) can be made responsible for destroying wild rabbits on their land or for taking steps to prevent them causing damage. This is a continuing obligation.
The main requirements to manage pest control safely are:
- Completion of a suitable and sufficient risk assessment on activities.
- Providing staff with information, instruction and training in regards to pests in the workplace.
- Good housekeeping to reduce attraction to pests.
- Adopt a good personal hygiene culture within the premises.
- Provision of personal protective equipment that is available all staff.
- Acquire permission and licenses when required to be authorised to carry out pest removal works e.g. handling firearms.
- Completion of a hazardous substance (CoSHH) risk assessment when staff involved in handling hazardous materials.
- Maintenance of all equipment being used by staff.
- Appropriate first aid arrangements and equipment.
- Protect other wildlife other than the intended pests from being harmed.
Questions to Consider
- Is the location of any traps or bates registered and monitored?
- Has awareness been raised in relation to diseases such as hepatitis, Weils disease and Lymes disease?
- Is the facility or ground maintained to prevent access from pests?
- Are you aware of some species that are protected?
- Are you aware of the permitted methods that the club can use to clear pests or protect the course from pests?
- Could the task be outsourced?
The above guidance provides an introduction on the main requirements needed to adequately manage this health and safety topic. If you require further guidance, risk assessments or template documentation on this subject please consult your relevant full guidance health and safety website (BIGGA, England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf). If you do not hold the log in details for this website, for your club, please speak to your golf club management team to identify who the account administrator is and request the details.