McKay sees cockroaches as a necessary evil, insofar as they be
eliminated, they are kind of an evil that we have to work around.
You have to be reasonable, because the work has to get done and
the owners can only do so much. Whenever we know there are
pests involved, my guys suit up as though they are going in to do
mould, lead or asbestos abatement, meaning the Tyvek suits and the
booties, but still, some guys just
When they do, McKay says he has to respect their decision.
not about to send somebody in who is uncomfortable with
he says, someone who has kids at home. The last thing I
need is to have one of my workers look at me and say, You
made me go in there and to this and now look at
When there been a notification from the landlord up front
that there are bed bugs, but subsequently found by crews
entering the space, the owners are immediately notified that the
space must be fumigated before work continues. As McKay correctly
points out, speaking, WCB regulations dictate that the
owners have to give us a safe work environment, and pests are one
of those things that they have to take care of before we go
The question remains: are these nasty critters simply a workplace
nuisance, or are they a workplace hazard? As defined by
WorkSafeBC, they are a nuisance and not an occupational health and
safety issue for one simple reason: bed bugs and cockroaches, as vile
as they are, are not known to transmit diseases in British Columbia.
WorkSafeBC regulations include a section on biological toxins,
which could include insect and snake venoms and even plant
toxins. If workers are working around any of those elements
and there is a risk of exposure, a control plan must be
developed that would typically involve some kind of personal
entered one details Geoffrey Clark, senior
occupational hygienist with WorkSafeBC, it looked like
there was a mist or fog about six inches off the floor that turned
out to be fleas. When I got out of there, I was covered right up
to the ankles, and we were quite aggressive in getting them off.
We know that fleas carry bacteria, but not the case here
in B.C. as far as heard, and the same with bed bugs
because as far as aware, they are a nuisance, as opposed
to being a public health Therefore, they fall under
the purview of WorkSafeBC regulations, and because
not a hazard in terms of occupational disease, WorkSafeBC
force the owner to reveal the details about it.
Even so, WorkSafeBC does provide detailed bulletins on its
website offering advice on how to approach these various pests.
though our regulations necessarily cover these
kinds of notes Clark, lot of us put out information
anyway just to inform people of things they can do, so
not leaving them in a