In indoor City office workplaces, pest infestation can impact the health and safety of building occupants and the structural integrity of building materials. An integrated approach that focuses on the least hazardous combination of structural controls, physical/mechanical and/or chemical treatments shall be used to prevent and control unacceptable levels of pest activity. The approach shall take into account, the health & safety of operators and building occupants, as well as the efficacy against the targeted pest.

The City of Toronto will eliminate or minimize, to the extent possible, the potential for exposure to pest infestation and the treatment method when applicable within the scope of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.


This policy applies to all indoor City of Toronto office workplaces, as well as all workers and supervisors engaged in facility management services for the prevention and management of pests.


Mechanical and Physical Treatment/Control – The use of equipment or manipulation of physical conditions to manage pest populations, such as traps, adhesive tapes, noise makers, vacuuming and heat.

Pest – An animal, a plant or other organism that is injurious, noxious, or troublesome.

Pesticide – Any product, device, organism, substance, or thing that is manufactured, represented, sold or used as a means for directly or indirectly controlling, preventing, destroying, mitigating, attracting or repelling pests. This includes herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, animal and insect repellents and insect- and rodent-controlling devices.

Product Label – a source of information on a controlled product designed to alert employers and employees, in an easily understood way, to the hazards of use.

Safety Data Sheet (SDS) – detailed information documents prepared by the manufacturer or importer of a chemical that describes the physical and chemical properties, physical and health hazards, routes of exposure, precautions for safe handling and use, emergency and first-aid procedures, and control measures.

Structural Treatment/Control – A means to prevent entry of pests, such as sealing cracks or gaps in the building.


Senior Managers will:

  • Ensure that processes are in place for implementation of this policy and program standard

Managers/supervisors will ensure that:

  • Regular physical inspections are conducted and any presence of pests or conditions that would encourage pest infestation are reported to Facilities Management
  • Housekeeping and regular building maintenance deters pest infestation (e.g. sealing any openings, removal of garbage/food sources)
  • Prompt investigation is conducted in response to any occupant complaints or sightings of pests, with all findings reported to Facilities Management
  • When informed by Facilities Management of any pest management approach, ensure relevant communication and instructions are provided to any impacted building occupants, in advance of the approach
  • When chemical pesticides are to be used, Product SDS will be adhered to, required notification and signage will be posted as required.
  • Following the treatment application, adhere to the re-entry time specified on the product label before returning occupants to the work area
  • Ensure that employees who are participating in the Hybrid Work Program are educated on cleaning and disinfecting protocols found in the Employee Handbook
  • When necessary, implement further divisional specific pest preventon protocols based on the nature of the work

Management responsible for either maintaining City-owned office space, or requesting  maintenance from 3rd party landlords will ensure that:

  • City personnel assigned responsibility for pest management control will be trained on general pest management practices (see Appendix 1 for General Pesticide Application Guidelines)
  • Prompt inspection and investigation will be conducted for the presence of pests in response to occupancy complaints or sightings of pests
  • Appropriate measures are taken to address the pest, considering the hierarchy of controls to protect building occupants and the structural stability of the building
  • When contractors are to be brought in to address pest infestation issues, Facilities Management will ensure:
    • The contractors are qualified and licensed to carry out the work
    • The contractors are requested to select the pesticide that is most effective for the pest, and with the least health impact on City staff
    • The contractor has provided the application method, as well as all required information to be shared with building occupants (e.g. Safety Data Sheets, any required site preparation actions, re-entry times)
  • That building occupants have been informed of the pest management approach, including relevant information:
    • Date and time of pesticide application
    • Location(s) where pesticide will be applied
    • Name of pesticide applicator/contractor
    • Name of pesticide
    • Safety Data Sheet of pesticide
    • Any precautions that building occupants need to take
    • Allowable re-entry time, as per product label
  • Signage will be posted as required based on product information as outlined in the SDS. Any action required to prepare the area (e.g. surface preparation, adjustment of ventilation system) occurs prior to the treatment
  • Following treatment application, verify the type of clean-up that is required by the service provider (e.g. eating surfaces, treatment areas, baseboards) and ensure any required clean-up is completed. If there is evidence that residual material is still present on working surfaces, additional cleaning will be required, along with surface wipe sampling to verify cleaning effectiveness.
  • Post-control application inspections are conducted to confirm the eradication of the pest infestation
  • Where any concerns (e.g. employee complaints) are raised regarding pesticide application, investigate, record and remedy any performance deficiencies
  • Pest Control records will be uploaded in each work order for future reference
  • The following information will be available as part of the vendor service report:
    • Location(s) of application
    • Date and time of application
    • Name of contractor
    • Name of pesticide, scope of work

Workers shall:

  • Discard waste in designated containers and keep work area clear of any items that may attract pests (e.g. leftover food, soiled dishes)
  • Promptly report to management any evidence or sightings of pests
  • Review information and follow instructions provided when pesticides are to be used
  • After any pesticide application, follow the hazard reporting process for any concerns
  • Report to management any continued sightings of pests
  • Refrain from purchasing and applying over the counter products to manage pests on their own
  • Minimize or eliminate food waste, and also plants that may provide the proper environment for pest growth
  • Follow any workstation cleaning and disinfecting protocols that are implemented by management
  • Respect the workplace as not to create any hazards that would promote pest infestation

Joint Health and Safety Committee/Health and Safety Representatives will:

  • Incorporate general inspections for the presence of pests, or conditions that would encourage pest infestations, into their regular monthly workplace inspection

People & Equity Occupational Health and Safety will:

  • Update and maintain this policy as new developments arise


R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 833: Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents

R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 860: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

Government of Canada Pesticide Products Act

Government of Ontario Pesticides Act


Occupational Health and Safety Coordinating Committee (OHSCC), December 6, 2023

Effective Date

December 6, 2023