I am pleased to present this guest blog post about the importance of pest control training by Jason Stigall of Mobile Training Solutions.
Impressing safe and professional habits into newly minted employees is paramount. It is our obligation as state certified people to thoroughly educate individuals coming into our industry and those broadening their licenses to work in other areas. This can easily be the most difficult aspect of adding or replacing people within your organization. As difficult as it may be, training must be done. It is our legal obligation as much as it is just good, prudent practice. Proper training protects your employees, your pest control equipment, your clients, the environment and ultimately your company.
Early training with new employees tends to cover the basics. Preparing them for the daily routine and some amount of preparatory information to aid in successfully taking the state certification exams tend to be standard. Things like: “The Label is the Law!” This is a common approach however, this is not enough to have an individual ready to address your clients and transport chemicals all over the city. Even if a new employee does pass the state exams, are they prepared?
A well trained PCO should be have a comprehensive understanding of the following:
- Federal and State pesticide Laws and Regulations.
- How to navigate a Pesticide Label, finding important info prior to each treatment.
- IPM and control methods other than chemical control.
- Understand the importance of pesticide storage, disposal and accidental release protocols.
- Understand what the pesticide they’re using is, how it works, when and where to use it.
- They should know to never use the word “safe”.
- Familiarized with the pest equipment at their disposal, how it works and how to properly maintain it.
- Understand what, when and how to use the Personal Protective Equipment.
- Understand the importance of accurate recordkeeping and communication. The communication aspect doesn’t just mean with your office but applies to your clients as well.
If all the above tenets are engrained in your new employee, then you have a thoughtful, safe applicator working with you. They will project professionalism, confidence, and education to the public, your clients. This will only aid your company’s brand but also communicate to the public that we all take our jobs, safety and stewardship of the environment seriously. This training will also protect your company if accidents happen and prevent downtime that costs you money.
The time, energy and monetary investment for this level of training can seem steep. If you’re a company that lacks the time and trained personnel to convey this information, consider getting outside help. Training from an independent training company can help you achieve this level of training and usually without breaking the bank. Remember that pre-certification training isn’t the only training we all require. Everyone must keep learning, especially in our dynamic industry.
When our company conducts training for other businesses, we reinforce content presented with interactive elements. These elements include discussion and games. Are you having trouble trying to get everyone to remember what Oxalis looks like or the morphological differences between German and Brown Banded Cockroaches are? Turn it into a lively game of Jeopardy between your weed control and pest control departments. Employees will suddenly start remembering when competition is involved.
Training is a difficult thing to accomplish well. Every employee is an individual that learns different than the last. Proper, thorough training is ultimately worth your time. It will legally protect your company while making you and your employees outshine the competition.
-Jason Stigall, Mobile Training Solutions, LLC
MobileTraining Solutions is an independent training company with classes and training programs for the Structural and Agriculture Pest Control Industries. It is owned and operated by Linda Harrington and Jason Stigall and have 35+ years of experience operating pest control companies in Arizona. They have programs for state exam preparation of all Structural Categories, both Certified Applicators and Qualified Applicators. These classes are always conducted with a live instructor (NO videos), even the online classes. They also have programs for Ag Golf Course licenses and PUG. Mobile Training Solutions also holds Continuing Education monthly and consulting/training programs tailored to your organization’s need