Pesticides: code of practice for using plant protection products in Scotland

The code is aimed at all professional users of plant protection products (pesticides) in Scotland.

Annex H: things to consider when preparing and managing contracts for applying pesticides in amenity areas

60 If you are writing up or managing contracts for applying pesticides in amenity areas you should read the following guidance. It will help you to make sure that:

  • all the work will be carried out in line with the relevant law
  • the risks to people, wildlife and the environment will be assessed and adequately controlled

61 Preparing tenders

Anyone preparing a contract for pesticide to be applied should:

  • take account of any relevant law
  • consider the possible negative effects the pesticide may have on people, wildlife and the environment

You should consider the following checklist when preparing land managing contracts. If you are not sure about anything, get expert advice.

62 Policy on using pesticides

  • have you considered alternative methods of control?
  • have you taken account of risks to people and the environment?
  • are you using the minimum amount of pesticides?

63 Objective

  • do you have a clear understanding of the cause and effect of the problem to be treated?
  • what does the contract aim to achieve?

64 Laws

  • do you know and understand all relevant laws and codes of practice relating to supplying, storing and using pesticides?

65 Employees

  • do you have enough trained and appropriately qualified staff and do they have the relevant expertise and knowledge?
  • do you want to set standards that must be met and put these in the contract?

66 Performance standard

67 Areas for treating

  • have you defined the areas to be treated (including any relevant measurements, maps and plans)?
  • do your employees or the contractor know where sensitive and vulnerable areas (such as schools, hospitals, old people's homes, watercourses, sites of special scientific interest and nature reserves) are?

68 Monitoring

If you have a programme for monitoring the contract, can you make sure that:

  • the conditions and standards of the contract are met
  • appropriate records are kept

69 Review

  • you should review all aspects of long-term contracts each year to make sure they act in line with any changes in policy, law, controls or any other factor that is likely to affect the contract

70 Mixtures

  • where you or an employee, contractor or supplier acting for you mixes pesticides with other substances, only enough mixture for the day's use should be made
  • however, unforeseen circumstances, such as bad weather conditions, may make it necessary to keep material for use in the next few days
  • if you have to keep material for use in the next few days, by law you or the contractor must make a new safety assessment on labelling and storing the mixture safely to make sure that, as far as is possible, no unacceptable risks are created
  • do not store mixed products for long periods or in large amounts

Proper guidance on the law about selling and mixing pesticides is given in a leaflet available from PSD or on the PSD website.

Contract Details

71 Work to be carried out

In the contract it would be a good idea to include a statement on the type and range of work to be carried out, with specific details of areas to be treated including:

  • appropriate measurements
  • information on any unusual risks
  • any other proposed work (such as building work)
  • any restrictions on working hours or machinery that may be used
  • any specific instructions for working in or near sensitive or vulnerable areas

72 Choice of pesticide

  • in the contract you should specify the pesticide products to be used and their MAPP or HSE numbers (also written as active ingredients) and the rates of application
  • of you want the contractor to specify which pesticides they are going to use, you may want to ask them to give you a list of the pesticides (including MAPP or HSE numbers) they will use for each part of the contract, giving the application rates and number of treatments considered necessary

73 Reporting and keeping records

  • it is best practice for the contractor's representative on site to regularly report to your representative (perhaps once a week) to give you a detailed record of the work done and the plan for future work

74 Documents you might ask contractors to provide

You may want the contractor to send you the following documents with their tender for the contract:

  • a copy of their insurance certificates
  • the names and addresses of two referees they have carried out work of a similar type and value for
  • a copy of their storage certificate (unless less than 200 litres or 200 kilograms of pesticide are being stored)
  • copies of the appropriate NPTC certificates of competence for anyone who will be applying the pesticide or supervising the work
  • acopy of the contractor's safety policy, risk assessment and control procedures (as instructed under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act and its associated regulations)
  • details of membership of any professional body or trade association
  • details of the contractor's waste management policy
  • details of the contractor's standard operating procedures (SOPs), directly related to the work as specified in the contract

75 Monitoring contracts

It is good practice to monitor work carried out under contracts to make sure that all legal and safety conditions, and agreed standards, are met. a monitoring programme may cover the following:

76 Preparing tenders

  • make sure that the contract schedules are an accurate record of the areas to be treated
  • make sure the pesticides specified are adequate and suitable to achieve the aim of the treatment
  • decide how often site inspections should take place
  • prepare a checklist of the areas to be assessed during site inspections

77 Carrying out the contract

When the contract is being carried out, you may want to visit all the sites to make sure of the following:

  • the work is being carried out safely, legally and in line with relevant codes of practice
  • the people applying the pesticide are using suitable personal protective equipment and have the appropriate NPTC certificates of competence
  • the contractor's vehicles are suitably equipped to deal with any spillage or similar incident
  • the pesticides are being mixed and prepared in an appropriate location and in a safe and legal way
  • only the people named in the documents provided with the tender are using pesticides
  • the pesticides being applied are as agreed in terms of the approved products, rates and method of application (if any samples are tested, two samples should be taken, sealed immediately, and one should be left with the contractor)
  • all appropriate health and safety regulations are being followed
  • the pesticides are being stored on site in a safe and legal way
  • the appropriate records of the pesticides applied and the areas treated are being kept
  • all environmental risks are being managed appropriately
  • written records are kept to show that leftover spray solution, tank washings and empty packaging are being disposed of safely, legally and in line with relevant codes of practice

78 Assessing the performance of contracts

It is good practice to inspect all sites while the contract is being carried out and at appropriate intervals after it has ended to assess how effective the treatment is and, where necessary, ask the contractor to put things right.

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