Conducive Conditions: The Last Straw (or Cigarette)

|  March 26, 2015
Conducive Conditions

The overflowing ashtray in the employee break room is enough to suggest you either pass on the prospective account or bid it high so required corrections can be arranged. Photo: Jeff McGovern

You have completed a facility assessment for a potential client. Cleaning, sanitation and maintenance are all lacking, and you know without cooperation, pest management efforts will fail. For all the good intentions the clients insist they have, however, the overflowing ashtray you notice in the employee break room is enough to suggest you either pass on the account or bid it high enough so the required corrections can be arranged through a responsible third party.

A sight like this in any employee break area says a lot about how concerned employees are about the condition of their workplace. Obviously, management is also at fault for allowing this type of neglect to occur. In addition to the obvious health and sanitation issues pictured here, what else is going on? Are doors being propped open? How long is trash allowed to sit before being removed? Who’s responsible for monitoring the area? Lack of oversight in an area like this (often located near an entry point) can undo your best efforts to manage the pests inside.

If this is a persistent condition, you might have to consider walking away, unless adequate supervision and sanitation of the area can be verified.

You can reach Jeff McGovern at

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