RISE Honors Wendell Codner with Award for Volunteering

Congratulations to our own Wendell Codner, who was awarded the Committee Chairman’s Service Award from Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE) in early January 2014. Wendell was honored for his eight years on the Programs and Membership Committee, two of them as committee chair. We spoke with Wendell about the importance of volunteering: First, you have an accent. Where are you from? I grew up on a farm in St. Ann, Jamaica. I came to the United States for college and then joined FMC. What’s your role at FMC? Currently, I’m the Business Manager for Consumer Solutions for our Professional Solutions division. We sell active ingredients to consumer marketers like Scotts and Central Garden & Pet who in turn sell their branded products to the consumers through stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart. Why did you start volunteering with RISE? I started working with RISE in 2006 after hearing a former president speak at an FMC meeting. I started on the Programs & Membership Committee, which works on member recruitment and retention as well as designing the program and speakers for the annual meeting. Now, I am co-chair of the Strategic Oversight Council, which has responsibility for the development and implementation of the RISE strategic plan. Why is involvement important? As an industry we have a message that needs to be heard so that everyone — regulators, lawmakers, the public — can be better educated about the chemical industry and its associated benefits. And we have to keep at it day after day, year after year. In this country, if you don’t get in front of the...
The Pest Management Industry Teams Up to Help the Homeless

The Pest Management Industry Teams Up to Help the Homeless

Imagine a winter that begins with snow a week before Halloween. Imagine not one but two bouts of the "polar vortex," sending temperatures into the negative digits for days. And imagine a storm so heavy that there were reports of snow "tornadoes," plus massive power outages and clogged highways. Now imagine you are homeless. That’s what was on the minds of Kevin Behrens of Univar, Inc. and Arnold Ramsey of FMC when they decided to host a provisions drive to aid the homeless in December 2013. Behrens had invited Ohio-based pest management professionals to an annual Univar holiday event and mini-tradeshow, but wanted to include a charitable aspect to the event. Behrens knew Ramsey and his wife volunteer their time with a homeless outreach program, so he gave him a call. An idea was born. Knowing they couldn’t do it alone, Ramsey suggested they ask their friends in the pest management community for help. Between the two companies and the 65 guests, they were able to collect enough toiletries, sweatshirts, coats, blankets and scarves for 57 “provision packs,” and enough donations to afford turkey and ham dinners for more than 80 people.”This is a matter of life and death for some,” said Ramsey. “We’ve lost four homeless friends due to weather already this winter. It is a huge relief and comfort for them to receive even the most basic provisions.” “But it is more than just physical,” added Ramsey. “Most are extremely grateful for the simple fact that someone cares about them. One man wept when we gave him a new scarf. He had been using a worn out...
The Responsible Care Global Charter Drives Globally Responsible Pest Product Production

The Responsible Care Global Charter Drives Globally Responsible Pest Product Production

A lot of what we do at FMC Professional Solutions involves a great deal of chemistry. We’re continuously researching new and innovative ways to create products that meet the growing needs for the pest control industry. Beyond that, we strive to implement safe production of chemicals as well as promote responsible product stewardship and sustainable development to the pest management community. Among other international companies, former FMC Corporation President and CEO William Walter put his signature on the Declaration of Support to the Responsible Care® Global Charter, one of the driving forces behind the globally responsible and safe production and distribution of our pest control products.Launched publically in 2006 at the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM-1) by the International Council of Chemical Associations, the Responsible Care Global Charter focuses on improving performance, communication and accountability to the companies involved. Responsible Care is a major contribution to the industry in achieving sustainable development by committing companies to work together to continuously improve the health, safety and environmental performance of their products and processes. The Responsible Care Global Charter contains nine key elements and employs a system of checklists, performance indicators and verification procedures to guide the companies involved towards their global commitment. This initiative has driven a transformation in the way that companies operate: from being secretive and defensive about their activities, to being more open, honest and actively seeking dialogue and partnerships with stakeholders. Through Responsible Care, the industry can operate more safely, profitably and with care for future...
Pest Professionals: Follow These Fire Safety Tips This Summer

Pest Professionals: Follow These Fire Safety Tips This Summer

Backyard bonfires are a favorite summer pastime for many people. As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, bonfires and the fun activities associated with them will become more frequent. Although they make for great summertime backyard entertainment, there are many safety risks associated with them as well. So, for the spring and summer campers and other pest professionals who like to enjoy a backyard fire pit, please consider these important fire safety tips:   Never pour flammable fluids onto a flame or source of heat. The fluid can ignite and the flame can (and probably will) run right up the stream of fluid to ignite the container in your hand, with explosive and extremely harmful (if not fatal) results.     Never try to extinguish a grease fire with water. This was the last lesson learned by quite a few people cooking in their kitchen. Adding water to a grease fire results in a shockingly large fireball. You are not likely to survive the results of pouring water onto a pan full of burning grease over your campfire.     Never leave a fire unattended in any stage between lighting and extinguishing. DO NOT go to bed while there is any fire or glow visible in your pit or ring. Left unattended, open flames or glowing coals (even ash-covered embers that don’t appear to be glowing) can very easily lead to a spreading fire.     Never put plastic, glass or metal items in a fire. Glass and metal can become dangerous at the worst, and constitute littering at the least. Plastic produces some truly noxious...
Holiday decoration safety guidelines for pest professionals.

Holiday decoration safety guidelines for pest professionals.

  The holidays are approaching and many pest professionals are beginning to decorate. Whether it be decorating your own home, your office or decorating customers’ homes, the finished decorations bring color, festivity and cheer, but the decorating process can expose you to many safety risks. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has put together a holiday decoration safety guide to make your holiday safe by avoiding decorating related hazards. Trees: When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” Although this label does not mean the tree won’t catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and do not break when bent between your fingers. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles. When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways. Lights: Indoors or outdoors, only use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, which indicates conformance with safety standards. Only use lights that have fused plugs. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets. Always replace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs. Use...
Winter pest control safety tips to avoid slipping and falling on snow and ice.

Winter pest control safety tips to avoid slipping and falling on snow and ice.

Slips and falls lead to some of the most common injuries, whether it is on the job or going about daily activities. Now that winter is here, snow and ice can increase risk of slipping and falling while doing winter pest control treatments. Despite sometimes harsh conditions, work and daily life must go on, but it’s important to exercise more caution than usual. Please be alert and follow these winter pest control safety tips: Always Plan Ahead: Know the latest weather conditions by monitoring weather updates. Make sure both your personal and work vehicles are maintained and updated to withstand potential slipping hazards. Pay close attention to tires and grip surfaces. Cover and store all equipment properly after each job to keep them protected from snow and ice for the next day. How To Drive Safely In Winter Conditions: Make sure to winterize your personal and work vehicles. Decrease your speed and leave plenty of room for abrupt stops. During snowy or icy conditions, you should leave three times more space than usual between you and the vehicle in front of you. Use lower gears to keep traction, especially on hills and winding roads. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels lock, slowly ease off the brakes. Make sure your lights are turned on and snow is cleared from them so that other motorists can see you. Although winter conditions pose certain driving risks, safe driving is something that should be practiced year round. Here are some tips for safe driving on the job year-round. Use Special Care When Entering or Exiting Vehicles: When getting out of your...