As the busy season approaches, make sure your paperwork is up to date and your technicians are prepared to document their service calls so they can help protect your company from unwarranted claims and provide better service. Allen Fugler, director of Risk Management for Xterminator Pro, a Division of Houston International Insurance Group (HIIG), suggests you start here:
Pest-specific Contracts. Review your pest-specific contracts to make sure they are accurate, up-to-date, complete and compliant with state statutes and regulations. For example, termite contracts are particularly sensitive as this type of work poses the greatest risk to PMPs. Look at your contract disclaimers: Do they include language related to aerial infestations, new versus old damage, arbitration requirements, conducive condition notification and target pest identification? Also look at your written commitments related to WDO operations and loss control. Work with your attorney to make any updates that might help you mitigate associated risk.
File Documentation. Your technicians should be documenting every aspect of their service. Make sure your managers are training them to include these important elements in their files:
- Treatment graphs and records, including date, time, location, pesticide amount and technician name.
- Labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for every product used at a particular account.
- Waivers for untreated/untreatable areas, to document that the customer requested that an area not be treated or was aware why it couldn’t be.
- Correspondence between the customer and the company — emails, texts, letters, direct messages and social media messages.
- Phone and voice message recordings or contemporaneous notes.
- Regulatory references (dated) for any inspections performed by a regulator in reference to a complaint.
- Time- and date-stamped inspection videos.
Fugler also recommends evaluating your spring/summer readiness in the areas of general employment and business protection.