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Bed Bugs in the workplace COBBTF Summit 2017


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Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services

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Bed Bugs in the workplace COBBTF Summit 2017

  2. 2. In a nutshell….. • Over the past seven years, ODJFS has dealt with the growing issue of bed bugs in our work environment. As we all know, this is not just a local issue – bed bug reports have been on the rise for the past several years nationwide. • It is important that all employees recognize the importance of proper education and self awareness in both their work and home environments. Employees can easily pick up and transfer bed bugs from their workplace to their home and vice versa.
  3. 3. Time to… • Back in 2010, ODJFS Facility Operations team members began having very real discussions about the possibility of dealing with bed bugs in our facilities. • This conversation was driven by the closing of Nike’s flagship store in Manhattan, which was forced to close due to a bed bug infestation. • In 2010, ODJFS had 28 facilities throughout the state; today we have 13 facilities. These numbers do not include the state staff we have housed in our 89 county Ohio Means Jobs centers, which ODJFS does not manage.
  4. 4. It didn’t take long……. • Within a couple of months of starting to educate ourselves and putting together protocol to deal with bed bugs in the workplace, IT happened! • “I think I found a bed bug in my workstation…”
  5. 5. Trial and error… • Held large group meetings in the affected facility to try to inform staff of the issue and get the facts out. • Reached out to the landlord to discuss treatment. • Panic sets in and the rumor mill churns...bed bugs are everywhere…it’s an infestation…they’ve been hiding this from us!!
  6. 6. Lessons learned from that first experience… •Educate, Educate, Educate • Post information on your employee Innerweb •Provide employees with resources • Innerweb links to COBBTF resources/information
  7. 7. Communicate the DO’s of dealing with bedbugs (as initially communicated to ODJFS staff) • DO notify your supervisor or manager immediately if you find what you believe to be a bed bug. They will in turn notify the facility Business Operations Manager. Do not kill the bed bug! Capture it in a baggie, clear plastic bottle, or on a piece of tape. The Business Operations Manager will immediately contact the landlord and work with the pest management professionals to resolve the situation. • DO realize that treatment protocols vary from situation to situation and facility to facility. We work with and rely on certified professionals to guide and advise us on each individual situation.
  8. 8. Communicate the DO’s of dealing with bedbugs (as initially communicated to ODJFS staff) • DO conduct a ‘tick check’ before entering your home after being out. Just as you check for ticks after being out in a wooded area, check yourself and your clothing for bed bugs that may be attached to your clothing, purse, laptop case, suitcase, etc. To be extra safe, put your clothing in a hot dryer for about 30 minutes – this will kill any bed bugs that may be attached to your clothing. • DO take appropriate action if you have an issue with bed bugs in your home environment. ODJFS can and will do everything to appropriately deal with bed bugs in the work environment. However, our efforts are futile if employees continually transfer the bugs from their home to work.
  9. 9. Now….the DON’Ts (as initially communicated to ODJFS staff) • DON’T kill a bug you believe to be a bed bug. Capture it in a baggie, clear plastic bottle, or a piece of clear tape. Bring it to the attention of your manager/supervisor. They in turn will contact the Business Operations Manager or submit the information to the Facilities_Maintenance mailbox. It is imperative that we have the pest management company positively identify it as a bed bug. No confirmation = no bed bug treatment. • DON’T attempt to self treat bed bugs in the work place by bringing in a chemical spray or substance; if there are indeed bed bugs present, using any substance other than that applied by a pest management professional will do nothing more than scatter the bed bugs to other areas. Additionally, spraying or using any chemical in the work place may cause a serious respiratory or allergic reaction by a coworker. This scenario has the potential to be very dangerous. This rule also applies in the home environment – use a professional, certified pest management company.
  10. 10. Now….the DON’Ts (as initially communicated to ODJFS staff) • DON’T bring items into the workplace that have the potential to transmit bed bugs into the work environment unless you are 100% certain the item is bed bug free. This includes items from thrift stores, garage sales, etc. • DON’T panic! Bed bug experts nationally agree that education and a pro-active stance on the prevention of spreading bed bugs is the single most important thing anyone can do.
  11. 11. What if we find that one person is responsible for bringing bed bugs into the workplace??? • Work with your HR/Labor Relations team and if applicable, Union representative. • Have a discreet, closed door conversation with the employee. • Offer them resources to assist in resolving the issue at home. • Make sure they know you’re not pointing fingers…you WANT TO HELP THEM!
  12. 12. ODJFS’ current bed bug protocol • Report received from staff member via CAFM. • Determine via photo or in-person inspection if it is indeed a bed bug. • If confirmed, the incident is recorded in our CAFM system. • If it is the first instance in the general area, no treatment. • If it is the second instance in the same general area, Facility Operations notifies the property manager to begin bed bug treatment. • Prior to treatment, the office in question is notified of treatment date/time in order to ensure no employees are present; treatment always takes place after core business hours. • The certified pest management company treats the exact location, as well as surrounding work stations. • Treatment/follow up continues as recommended by pest management company.