Review of a Training Course on Pesticides and the Latest Legislation

The following is a review made by Roberto Portela Miguez, Mammal Group Curator at the NHM London:

About a week ago I attended a course and talk at the Natural History Museum of London, entitled “Control of Pesticide Regulations 1986 (as amended 1997) EU Biocides Regulations 528/2012”.

I know that, even if your two passions in life are pesticides and obscure legal documents, it is highly unlikely that you would rush to sign up for it.

After attending the event I can assure you that I still do not wish to look into both topics more than I need to. I do however strongly recommend all collections management staff to attend any future opportunity to listen to Bob Child’s talk or training event on this topic.

Robert Child was formerly Head of Conservation at the National Museum of Wales, and is now a Conservation Consultant, Advisor on Insect Pests to the National Trust and Director of Historyonics.

His company, Historyonics, sells insect pest products and carries out treatments on historic buildings and collections – so he has plenty of first-hand anecdotes to illustrate the various points he makes during his talks.

His experience on these matters is vast, but possibly more important: he is a brilliant communicator that can easily turn what is a dry and dull topic into two hours of effective and entertaining training.

The course Bob runs is required training for anybody using pesticides as part of their work ( this includes volunteers ) and is based on the requirements of the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 (as amended), the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988 (as amended) and the new Biocides Regulation 528/2012. It is further based on the HSE’s publication ‘Recommendations for Training Users of Non-agricultural Pesticides’.

The course lasts for about two hours and covers both theoretical aspects on a Powerpoint and practical demonstrations of:

  • principles of pest control and nature of pesticides
  • legislation
  • storage and transport of pesticides
  • use of pesticides (on site assessments)
  • labels and data sheets
  • safety in preparation, clean up and disposal.
  • emergency procedures
  • record keeping

Once you have gone through the training, you will be qualified to apply pesticides in your collections and, without doubt, be extremely grateful that Bob has done all the reading of the relevant EU legislation on your behalf.

I know most of us do our best to prevent infestations but, just in case, better to be prepared and qualified than …you know.

Keep checking our NatSCA website and blog for news on future workshops and training events and if you want to contact Bob to run the course at your institution, you can email him to .

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