Yes, unfortunately you read that correctly. If you own or manage a business, OSHA complaints for bed bugs can become a reality now and in the future. Employees can file an OSHA compliant for hazards of the bed bug kind. Yikes!
The General Overview
If an employee reports a bed bug “hazard” to OSHA, you will likely be contacted by mail with a letter outlining the complaint details and required response. You must investigate and prove protocols and procedures are in place to educate and protect employees! OSHA will also likely come out to do an inspection, scheduled or unannounced.
From the letters we have seen, OSHA asks for the following;
- Immediate investigation into the complaint
- Document alleged conditions
- Document corrective action or preventative measure
- Provide all related documentation on the matter
- Documentation on successful corrective action
While a simple notification is NOT a citation or proposed penalty, it still cannot go ignored. OSHA states their goal is to identify and correct the issue. You must also post a copy of the letter and return a signed certificate that the letter was in fact posted. A copy must also be provided to union or safety committees.
The Risk is Real
Many industries can be at higher risk for bed bug exposure, but the fact is that ANY business in any industry can be at risk. It’s a gamble, but much like insurance, preventative protocol functions to be in place to PREVENT an issue and to harness a solution immediately if something pops up.
Just to give an idea, these are a few of the types of clients we work with to put proper education and preventative measures in place.
- Call centers
- Medical facilities and doctor offices
- Rehab and nursing homes
- Emergency response / municipalities
- Relocation / disaster recovery
- Apartments, condos
- Production lines (manufacturing, print production etc)
- Transportation companies
- Temp employee agencies
- Sober living and rehab programs
- Adult day programs
The bottom line is that any business employing or serving other humans is at risk. Bed bugs are like a cold, and if one person has it, it can be spread to all others that come into contact. It can also infest the place of business, putting any employees or clients at risk. Bed bugs may be more common in some industries versus others, but the risk exists for all.
Bed Bug Protocol, Education and Prevention
Whether you are battling an issue or fear one in the future, proper protocol, education and prevention are key. In an OSHA complaint for example, you can quickly respond with all documentation and measures to prove the situation is handled and also further explain whether it is a facility issue, a personnel issue or a client issue.
Proper prevention and protocol comes from understanding where your risk factors lie, and how to prevent or limit the risk.
- Consult and evaluation
- Training and education
- Preventative protocol
- Preventative treatments
- Proactive dog inspections
Make bed bug prevention a part of your 2020 business plan and ensure you are protected and prepared! Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 216-544-8292.