This is guidance for those persons undertaking mole control in remote locations and/or areas of limited/restricted or no populace.
This advice is offered to assist members in the considerations for a safer working environment when undertaking mole control in remote areas and/or those that contain animals and livestock or objectionable behaviour.
Molecatchers are often lone workers and may be requested to work in areas that present situations many will find hazardous or confrontational. It is advised that a pre-planned approach be implemented to reduce any potential risk or harm.
Pre Work considerations [remote areas]
1. Ensure an adequately charged mobile phone or communication device is carried with you at all times
2. If you have no phone carry a acme thunder whistle for assistance [continued blasts on the whistle is a recognised request for help]
3. Confirm your attendance in remote areas upon arrival with a responsible person and establish phone signal strength. If in known areas of no phone signals, consider an alternative procedure such as agreed periodic contact time and/or maximum time of working with a responsible person.
4. Ascertain if there have been any changes to the area/s since the last visit.
5. Complete pre-work risk assessment.
6. If working in remote areas with adequate phone signal, contact a responsible person to inform of expected departure time.
Areas Involving Animals/livestock
1. Mobile phone to be carried at all times
2. Ensure a named contact is made aware of whereabouts whilst performing duties in areas that are known to contain livestock
3. If it is considered livestock could be a potential hazard ask to be escorted in high-risk areas
4. Do not enter gardens or premises with animal warning signs unless absolutely sure, the animal is under control or caged.
5. Ensure farm animals are safely housed before entering areas or present no personal risk
6. No work should be undertaken unless any animal is safely under control
7 If working within 3 meters of an open water supply then a life/buoyancy aid must be worn
Incidents involving a customer/ members of the public (in the field)
1. Mobile phone to be carried at all times.
2. Ensure a responsible person is made aware or whereabouts whilst performing duties.
3. If you are working within a known sensitive area, arrange to work with a colleague or be accompanied by the customer.
4. If threatened, do not provoke the situation or retaliate. Immediately leave the area.
5. Do not continue any disagreement until it gets to a violent level.
6. If you are assaulted, you must contact Police and report the incident.
7. Do not return to the area until you have received confirmation that the matter has been dealt with.
Incidents involving a customer/member of the public (on the phone)
1. Be polite at all times
2. If the caller comes across as rude or aggressive, allow them to let off steam and let them clarify what the problem is.
3. Listen to the caller and acknowledge if there is an issue which needs resolving
4. Try to rectify the problem and take responsibility of the action which you agree with the caller
5. Always remain calm.
6. If after following the above points, the caller continues to be rude, aggressive or intimidating, state clearly to the caller that if the conversation continues in this manner you will disconnect the call.
7. If caller persists, disconnect the call.
8. Record incident
Pre work -Risk assessment
Evaluate any personal risks from the area of work such as possible buried cables from lighting, pond pumps etc., be aware of animal deposits and hazards from pre- arrival attempts of mole removal such as glass buried in the tunnels.
Consider who may be at risk at the location from your actions
If in areas of occupancy – inform those people who may be using the area of your purpose and explain your method of work.
Consider the correct trap for the task.
Cover the placements with suitable covering and mark the point clearly if working in an area of discretion then mark in a way known to you. Stones, twigs or something that does not indicate the presence placed next to the site.
Inspect the trap in accordance to that location, if a sensitive area inspect when you will afford less interest such as early morning or after working hours.
Always ensure that you remove all traps upon conclusion of works
Remember, circumstances can and will change at a location and you have a responsibility for the safety of others from your actions. You are required always to make a continued risk assessment of the area whilst you are undertaking work at an area. Daily trap inspection meets this requirement of a continued risk assessment, reduces the risk to non-target species and third parties, and allows you to monitor both the changes to the areas influencing your work and potential harm to others from circumstances that may be out of your direct control. A professional service requires a risk assessment at all times and when working for local authorities or organisations a written risk assessment maybe required
Always ensure that you hold the adequate level of liability insurances.