If you’re familiar with us at Get Bats Out, then you know how much we value life. One of our biggest priorities is to remove bats safely and humanely, which we feel is a win-win for the bats and for our residential and commercial clients.
In that same spirit, we prioritize the safety of our personnel out in the field. We have a safety plan in place to minimize the risks they face on the job. We wanted to share it with you so you could see how seriously we take safety.
The Get Bats Out Safety Plan
There are several ways our crew can get injured or worse in our line of work:
We often have to work on ladders, roofs, scaffolding, and other elevated surfaces to get to the bats. Fortunately, we maintain strict safety standards, following OSHA requirements for using harnesses, man lifts, boom lifts, buckets, and ladders.
It’s always possible to come into contact with the 0.5 percent to 2 percent of the bat population that has contracted rabies. Rabies is a deadly disease if it isn’t treated immediately after exposure.
We protect our field technicians by requiring thick leather gloves, long pants made of heavy materials, and up-to-date rabies vaccinations. If there is ever skin contact between a bat and one of our workers, we’ll capture and test the bat for rabies to rule it out.
Inhaling the spores of a fungus known as “histoplasma capsulatum” can cause histoplasmosis. It’s a brutal disease affecting the lungs, and our technicians are vulnerable to it because of the fungus’ prevalence in guano (i.e. bat droppings).
We require special personal protective equipment (PPE) for sites with an inch or more of guano. Our PPE meets the standards of the NIOSH.
We also apply an industrial-grade fungicide to large accumulations of guano before removal, and we don’t let the client or public back in until twenty-four hours after treatment.
Hantavirus is a rodent-borne virus that can cause a deadly disease known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (or HPS). It’s often found in mouse or rat urine and droppings.
As with histoplasmosis, we require full PPE for any area with a rodent nest. We treat the nest with diluted bleach and leave it alone unless it’s in the scope of our job to clean it up.
5) Heat Exhaustion/Dehydration
Much of the work we do at Get Bats Out takes place in the summer under the sweltering sun. Exposure to sunlight for hours at a time can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, sunburn, and dehydration, among other serious ailments. We employ a job foreman to ensure that water and sunscreen is plentiful on the job site. The foreman also enforces regular breaks based on heat and sun conditions.
In addition to these safety guidelines, which are specifically pertinent to the work we do, we also follow general guidelines. We prioritize automobile safety by always maintaining our vehicles and observing traffic laws. We also employ safety personnel on every job site to ensure that we never pose a risk to the general public.
We hope this was informative for you! We love what we do here at Get Bats Out, and we’re glad we can stay safe doing it!
Your local bat removal expert,