Whilst it’s safe to clean up the odd bird dropping, handling bird droppings of any quantity should be done with care due to the risk from disease. Large quantities should be handled by an experienced professional and disposed of safely. As well as being unsightly the acidic nature of bird droppings can even cause damage to the fabric of buildings which in turn, leads to higher cleaning and repair bills.
Measures can be taken to protect staff, contractors, the public and your facilities from the risks bird droppings bring. There are health and safety regulations that need to be followed when working with or near bird droppings; relevant regulations include:
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992, Regulation 3
- The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/2932)
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994
Disease & Bird Droppings
There are several diseases known to be associated with bird droppings; histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis and psittacosis – all can represent a risk to human health. When cleaning bird droppings in any quantity the affected area should be dampened and treated before removal to prevent the risk of inhalation and infection.
When dried-out bird droppings are disturbed, a cloud of airborne dust carries micro-organisms into the lungs leading to respiratory difficulties.
Contracted from bird droppings in nesting or roosting areas or wherever there are bird droppings and can result in flu like symptoms, a fever or in extreme cases, death.
One of the most commonly found diseases it is transmitted by birds such as pigeons and is known as Ornithosis. A flu type disease, fatalities can occur as with normal influenza viruses.
A bacterial infection contracted via ingestion or contact of guano or guano dust. It causes diarrhoea or dysentery syndrome, mostly but can also include cramps, fever and pain.
As bird guano & debris is extremely hazardous it is essential that its removal is dealt with appropriately otherwise these particles can become airbourne or contaminate water courses.
NBC Environment’s Professional Programme
- A detailed working practice is agreed first with all safety documentation forwarded to the client for approval
- Waste is first nuetralised with an avicide and dampened.
- Solids are then double bagged for safe disposal with appropriate documentation.
- Special vacuums are utilised with particle filters.
- Reports completed and a certificate of completion issued to the client to demonstrate the area is now safe.
If unsure contact NBC Environment for advice or to arrange a bird dropping removal programme by calling 0333 567 2020.