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Hi All,

We're a very tiny pest control company located just outside of Chicago. We've been in business for a couple years and only have a handful of customers.

We got a registered letter a few days ago saying we will be getting inspected on June 5th.

We're kind of nervous because we don't have very much in the way of pesticides as we are so small but we've just been storing in our garage.

We looked up the guidelines to make sure we're in compliance and we're thinking we need to make a few changes.

Anyone go through one of these inspections? Can we get fined? Not sure if they find something we're not doing correctly if we'll get a warning? fined? our license pulled?

Any advice would be helpful!
 

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I was getting a smog check a few years ago when an inspector showed up to inspect the garage. While the owner ran the emissions machine he chatted with me about it. He'd carefully hidden all the bad stuff - old oil and so on.

The inspector walked in, found all the hidden stuff in about 30 seconds, handed the guy a ticket and told him if he didn't have receipts for the legal disposal of the stuff within 24 hours his business would be shut down and he'd start paying daily fines until he had the receipts. The owner complained that it would cost him $10K to get the stuff removed legally. The inspector shrugged and said the fines would start at $2K/day and increase after a couple days.

I don't know anything about where you're located, but if I were you I'd consider it a favor that you got the letter, and do everything possible to get in compliance. Perhaps you're getting inspected because of a complaint by a neighbor, competitor, etc. When you say that it's in your garage, do you mean a residential garage?
 

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Just have everything in the garage labeled (in plain English and scientific) and the accompanying manufacturers data sheets in a notebook. - It shows you are concerned and knowledgeable. Some data sheets in your truck would be good also.

It makes the inspectors job easier, which is always a bonus.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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I think that the inspector is coming by to see if you are just a one man operation or if you are running a full scale operation with an office staff. If the latter is true, then he might penalize you for not having handicapped parking, restrooms, fire extinguishers, etc.
 

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In case you missed Chris's post, clean that place out top to bottom. If you don't have any chemicals on site he can't fine you for improper storage etc.

Make no mistake, he is not there to help you, this is purely about $$$$
 

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...
Make no mistake, he is not there to help you, this is purely about $$$$
It could also be about the neighbor with whom you joked about having a can of nerve gas in the garage, ha ha, who has small kids, and who waited a few weeks before filing the complaint, ha ha.
 

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I'm a Mac
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Ah I'm just putting some humor to it.

I don't know the regulations for your business but assuming everything must be stored in a locked cabinet...I'd be running out and getting that cabinet and not just put it in my garage, bolt it to the wall so it can't tip over too.

If there is questionable materials or unlabeled materials... I'd get rid of it.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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What happens when he asks for the sub records?
I agree that lying to the inspector is not a good idea but unless he is an investigator or the tax collector, you really don't owe the guy any kind of explanation for anything other than the way that the conditions are kept in your garage. Maybe you should call the phone number on the letter to find out what the expectations are to be in compliance. Or even better, visit his office in the afternoon and meet him in person.

I can't think of a time when I've never been able to talk to someone at the AHJ for the sake of compliance. I could be a little naive but it's been my experience that the inspector is looking for cooperation more than money made in fines.

Besides, I doubt that it's about money. I think it's more about throwing his weight around to make people do whatever he wants them to do.
 

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Hi All,

We looked up the guidelines to make sure we're in compliance and we're thinking we need to make a few changes.
What does this mean exactly?
"...we're thinking we need to make changes"???
How can you be in business and not know the regulations?
Why would you want to be in the chemical business and not know the regulations?
 

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Ah I'm just putting some humor to it.

I don't know the regulations for your business but assuming everything must be stored in a locked cabinet...I'd be running out and getting that cabinet and not just put it in my garage, bolt it to the wall so it can't tip over too.

If there is questionable materials or unlabeled materials... I'd get rid of it.
Commercial pesticide regs may not allow pesticides to be stored on a residential property; floors need to be sealed and made to contain spills - berms, no drainage out of the garage, etc., ventilation requirements, etc.

I'm hoping Rita comes back and tells us all about it after the inspection, though I'm not counting on it.
 

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In case you missed Chris's post, clean that place out top to bottom. If you don't have any chemicals on site he can't fine you for improper storage etc.

Make no mistake, he is not there to help you, this is purely about $$$$
For a small operation, it's easy enough to use up all the chemicals, if you do things right. Vehicles transporting chemicals are subject to different regulations.

Definitely keep the place cleaned out, storing them there is just another liability.
 

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I can't think of a time when I've never been able to talk to someone at the AHJ for the sake of compliance. I could be a little naive but it's been my experience that the inspector is looking for cooperation more than money made in fines.

Besides, I doubt that it's about money. I think it's more about throwing his weight around to make people do whatever he wants them to do.
These guys generally pay their salaries by finding violations.
 

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These guys generally pay their salaries by finding violations.
Trust me they don't pay anything with fine money. They always always spend two dollars to collect one. Do you know of any government agency that operates in the black?

Sent from my SM-T520 using Tapatalk
 

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Trust me they don't pay anything with fine money. They always always spend two dollars to collect one. Do you know of any government agency that operates in the black?

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No, pay their salary meaning the fines help justify the position - it's a revenue stream.
 
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