Do We Have To Work Around Rats?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about Rats:

As an employee do I have the right to not work in our warehouse with rats about? We are picking product by hand where we suspect they are living. How could I prove this to my employer and how could I get help for it?

Signed, Disgusted

Dear Disgusted:

Rats and mice are common problems for warehouses and many other locations. I can understand how unnerving and disgusting it would be to think you’ll see one or have one jump out at you or run across the floor in front of you. It’s obnoxious! Have you asked your supervisor or manager to discuss the problem with someone who could approve contracting for rodent control? Usually rodents also harm merchandise and they often cause electrical fires because of their gnawing habits, so there is plenty of reason to try to eradicate them.

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Rats In The Workplace

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about working with rats:

We have a small problem with rats in our workplace. Do we have to stay and work or can we say that we do not want to with rats around?

Signed, Rats To Rats

Dear Rats To Rats:

Not long ago we have seen television reports of rat infestation in restaurants within several cities. Follow-up investigation found that the problem was not solved. Whether or not you choose to be absent from your workplace because rats have been seen depends on how serious is what you say is a “small problem” and on your own tolerance/anxiety regarding the possibility of them being again sighted. Safety is of primary importance, especially in facilities that deal with food. Therefore, do not hesitate to voice your concern to management and suggest that an exterminator should be hired and/or that this problem should be immediately reported to the local health department.

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Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about rats:

What are the risks from rats in the work place?

Signed, At Risk?

Dear At Risk?:

In some countries, rats are a source of food protein; in other countries they are taboo. I don’t know why you ask, but recent infestations of rats in some restaurants have been featured on television. In no place in our country that I know of are they welcomed. Perhaps it is because they have a reputation of transmitting disease. Below are excerpts of two sources that you might access on the Internet to provide more information:

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