This policy is intended to enhance employee awareness regarding bed bugs. The sharing of information with employees who may encounter bed bugs in their work activities will assist them in ensuring that bed bugs encountered during work activities are not carried to other locations.
Note: This policy was reviewed and revised in 2017 to reflect knowledge and experience acquired since the policy was first introduced.
Bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye and are similar to an apple seed in size and appearance (see attached Q&A as Appendix A for more details). There are currently no known or reported cases of disease transmission associated with the bite of a bed bug. Consequently, bed bugs are not considered to be a health hazard.
Levels of infestations of bed bugs can vary. Bed bugs are most likely to be found in seams, cracks and crevices around beds, sofas or chairs. They may also be found in other areas. Bed bugs prefer to feed on human blood and may bite anywhere on the human body. Bed bug bites, as other insect bites, can cause a range of reactions, from none to an allergic skin reaction. Also as with other insect bites, secondary infection can occur with scratching.
Bed bugs may lead to negative physical, social and mental health impacts for those who encounter them. These impacts are particularly severe for the most vulnerable members of society, many of whom need City services. City employees provide services to clients that may result in them encountering bed bugs. The presence of bed bugs should not lead to services being withheld. Rather, an environmental assessment to determine the level of the infestation and the development if an action plan to support the client to address the situation is needed. The City will provide information, education and protective measures to reduce or eliminate negative impacts on employees.
Information and protective measures provided to employees will enable them to:
This policy applies to all City divisions and all City employees. The level of action required by divisions in response to this policy is to be determined through classification of the likelihood of employees encountering bed bugs during the course of their work.
For the purpose of this policy, two classifications are identified:
Bed bugs may be encountered in public and community spaces. Any employee may encounter bed bugs in the course of activities of daily life, including work activities. Employees in this classification are at similar likelihood of encountering bed bugs as members of the general public.
Additional information is available on Toronto Public Health’s (TPH’s) website Bed Bugs.
Facilities Management Services Custodial and Maintenance Services work order process, to be used in requesting pest control services, can be accessed at FRED Services.
Additional information is available on Toronto Public Health’s (TPH’s) website Bed Bugs
Review bed bug-related information provided to them
Use the information provided and follow established divisional procedures regarding bed bugs
Attend training/information sessions scheduled by their supervisor/employer
Report to their supervisor pest management issues, including unusual situations involving bed bugs (e.g. Employees in Classification 1 who encounter bed bugs regularly would report if bed bugs were noted on their person, in their vehicle or at home following an encounter during City work. Employees in Classification 2 would report any encounters with bed bugs in the workplace)
Assist divisions with communications regarding bed bugs
Assist with addressing the employee(s) concern if needed
Occupational Health & Safety Coordinating Committee (OHSCC), December 6, 2011
December 12, 2011
September 27, 2017
Bed Bugs Appendix A