Your Monday morning meeting just got interrupted by a frantic call from your employee. There was a bat in the workplace when they came in this morning. And they are freaked out.
How you handle this situation from this point forward is very important.
Your employees have the right to a safe and healthy workplace. Bats in the workplace is a bad situation full of liability for you.
Here is a quick list of the items you will want to make sure and handle in a timely fashion:
- Put your employees safety first – Does this mean you may end up putting out some money in lost time and wages or bringing in a professional to catch the bat? Sure, but it’s less expensive than buying your employee rabies shots should they get bit trying to catch it for you. Rabies shots prices are based on supply and demand. We’ve seen them range from $8,000 per person up to $70,000 per person. And yes, you are responsible for footing that bill should an employee need them.
- Document everything – From your first phone call to animal control or a pest control company to final resolution, you should be documenting everything. Hire a professional to assess if you have an infestation or a one time fly in. Get a report of their findings in writing. If work needs done to fix a bat infestation issue, get status updates and reports from the bat removal company you hire. If they can’t or won’t provide you with that, find another company. Covering your risks and liabilities is important at this point. We provide findings reports on all commercial bat removal inspections, status updates, and final written reports upon request. We are happy to add this service at no additional charge. All bat removal companies should do this.
- Take employee concerns and fears seriously – We understand not everyone is afraid of bats, but some people are absolutely terrified. If you happen to fall in the “they don’t bother me” category, don’t make an employee feel bad for being scared. One very large commercial hospital bat removal project we performed was precipitated by an employee who was scared and her co-workers wouldn’t quit making fun of her. So she picked up the phone and called the department of health. As you can imagine, the repercussions of this were much greater than we normally see.
- Act quickly – We see people ignore bats in the workplace for years. This is an unwise decision for obvious reasons. Even a patient employee will get frustrated if their problem isn’t being handled with some sense of speed.
Work as a Team
Just like you want your employees to work together as a team, work with them as a team. This is a problem that affects every one of your employees and you as well. Keep everyone in the loop of what’s going on and how it’s being handled and your process will go a lot smoother.