Rats in the workplace: Laws, Health and Safety

Rats in the workplace laws, UK

Employers in the UK are required by law to take reasonable steps to ensure that workers work in a safe environment. This means putting in place all necessary health and safety precautions to protect employees from injury or illness when at work, including protection from rats in the workplace.

In the United Kingdom, the legal responsibility of managing pests, including rats, in the workplace falls under various health and safety and pest-specific legislation. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, for instance, places a duty on employers to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare of all their employees. This includes maintaining a workplace that is safe and free from health risks, which extends to managing and preventing pest infestations. Additionally, under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, local authorities have the power to compel property owners to take action to deal with rat infestations. Non-compliance with these regulations can lead to significant penalties, including fines and, in severe cases, imprisonment.

Rats in the workplace laws, UK
Rats in the workplace laws, UK

In the interest of health and safety, rats in the workplace must be promptly addressed to prevent the potential spread of diseases and to maintain a clean and safe working environment.

Rats are defined as any rodents that may carry disease. They are commonly found throughout the UK , common species include mice, black rats and brown rats. They also can be found anywhere where there is shelter and access to food (i.e where buildings exist), this includes industrial workplaces like factories, warehouses, commercial kitchens etc.

How to prevent rats in the workplace

Preventing rat infestations in the workplace involves a combination of cleanliness, regular inspections, and appropriate pest control strategies. Here’s a detailed approach:

1. Maintain Cleanliness: The most important step in preventing rat infestations is to keep the workplace clean.

  • Dispose of garbage regularly and ensure trash bins have tight-fitting lids.
  • Clean up any food or drink spills immediately.
  • Don’t leave food out overnight. Store food in sealed containers.

2. Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect the premises for signs of rats, like droppings, gnaw marks, or damaged goods. Pay special attention to hidden areas like storage rooms, basements, attics, or crawl spaces.

3. Seal Entry Points: Rats can squeeze through tiny holes. Seal all potential entry points, such as gaps around doors and windows, holes in walls, and spaces around pipes or vents. Use materials like steel wool, caulk, or hardware cloth to seal these areas.

4. Regular Pest Control: Regular pest control services can help maintain a rat-free environment. These professionals can identify potential issues before they become a serious problem.

5. Maintain the Exterior: Rats often live in overgrown vegetation or piles of debris near buildings. Regularly trim shrubbery and keep the area around the building clean and tidy.

6. Proper Storage: Store goods and materials off the floor on shelves, and away from walls if possible. This makes it harder for rats to access them and easier for you to spot signs of rats.

7. Employee Education: Teach employees about the signs of a rat infestation and what to do if they spot one. Awareness can help catch a problem early.

By being proactive and implementing these strategies, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a rat infestation in your workplace.


Employers must also protect workers from rodent infestation

Addressing the issue of health and safety rats in the workplace is an employer’s responsibility and an important step in ensuring a hygienic, safe, and conducive work environment.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in the UK, employers are obligated to provide a safe and healthy working environment. This duty extends to protecting workers from risks associated with rodent infestations such as rats. Employers need to take practical steps to prevent infestations and promptly deal with any that occur.

Rats carry various diseases, some of which can be transmitted to humans. Therefore, a rat infestation in a workplace is not only distressing but also a significant health hazard. Employers who fail to manage and control such infestations effectively can face legal consequences.

Employers can uphold their legal obligation by implementing a robust pest control policy, conducting regular property inspections, and engaging the services of professional pest controllers as necessary. Additionally, employees should be educated about the signs of infestation and encouraged to report any signs immediately.

Remember, the law not only requires action when an infestation occurs but also necessitates preventative measures to minimise the risk of an infestation. As such, maintaining cleanliness, sealing potential entry points, and managing waste and outdoor spaces are integral parts of an employer’s duty to protect their workforce from the potential threat of rodent infestations.

Employers must also protect workers who may be at risk of exposure to rats by making sure they have the following training:

  • Appropriate PPE
  • Be aware what rats look like and how to handle rats safely if encountered
  • How best to humanely remove rats from buildings without risk of disease

Whilst employers will try their best, rats still do get in buildings so rats at work should be reported to the landlord or building owner immediately.

Pest control company will then work  to remove them from buildings safely.

Can I refuse to work if there are mice or rats?

In the UK, the legal framework for workers’ rights allows employees to refuse work under certain conditions where their health and safety are at risk. If your workplace is infested with rodents like rats or mice, this could potentially be considered a significant health risk.

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, employees have the right to leave their workplace, or refuse to return, if they are in ‘serious and imminent danger.’ Given that rodents can carry diseases, a severe infestation could be perceived as such a danger. However, what constitutes ‘serious and imminent danger’ can often depend on the specific circumstances and might require further advice from a legal or occupational health professional.

Before taking such a step, it’s generally recommended to report the issue to your employer or manager. If the employer fails to take appropriate action to resolve the problem, you could raise the issue with your workplace health and safety representative or with the local authority’s environmental health department.

However, because refusing to work can have significant implications, it is advisable to seek legal advice before making this decision. It’s also worth noting that employers are required to provide a safe work environment, and if an infestation is posing a threat to health, they have a responsibility to address it promptly.

A Cost-Effective Pest Control Service

Pest control is an essential service for both commercial and residential premises. Like any professional service, pest control costs money. However, it is one of the best investments a business can make. Our reasonably-priced commercial pest control services won’t cost your business nearly as much as an out of control infestation. 



If a customer spots a pest outbreak within your business, you can be confident that social media will hear about it. All it takes is one viral post to trash your business reputation and cause irreversible damage to your brand and reputation. You can be sure that no one is going to make a follow-up post when your business is finally confirmed to be pest-free.

Instead of allowing an easily-treatable pest infestation to harm your business’s reputation, have the problem taken care of professionally and promptly. Bon Accord’s pest control professionals stand ready to help take care of any pest infestation, large or small, within your business. We will find the most cost-effective method of nipping the problem in the bud while ensuring minimal disruption to your day to day operations.

The costs of dealing with any pest infestation will vary according to the specifics of the case. The types of pest you are dealing with, the size of the infestation and the nature and number of treatments required to get rid of them will all affect the price you pay. The sooner you deal with a pest infestation, the cheaper it will be.

Need some advice?

Ensuring health and safety, rats in the workplace must be swiftly and effectively dealt with to protect employees from the potential risks they pose.

If you’re unsure about your rights or what action to take in a situation involving a rodent infestation at work, there are several avenues for advice:

  1. Speak to your employer: The first step should always be to inform your employer about the issue, if they’re not already aware. They have a legal duty to manage the problem and ensure the workplace is safe.

  2. Contact your health and safety representative: If your workplace has a health and safety representative, they can help address your concerns and liaise with management to ensure appropriate actions are taken.

  3. Reach out to a trade union: If you’re a member of a trade union, they can provide advice and support. They may also help communicate with your employer on your behalf.

  4. Local authority’s environmental health department: They can give guidance and potentially intervene if employers fail to address severe infestations.

  5. Legal Advice: In case of severe disputes or if you feel your rights are being infringed upon, seeking advice from a legal professional might be a wise move.

  6. Citizens Advice Bureau: They can provide free, confidential and independent advice to help people overcome their problems, including employment issues related to health and safety.

Remember, your health and safety should always be the priority. In a properly managed workplace, concerns about rodent infestations should be taken seriously and handled promptly and effectively.

Talk to our experts

Are you dealing with a rat infestation or have questions about pest control? At Bon Accord Pest Control in London, our team of experts is here to provide you with the guidance and support you need.

Our knowledgeable professionals have extensive experience in rat control and are equipped with the latest industry insights. Whether you need advice on prevention methods, want to understand the best treatment options, or have concerns about the safety of pest control measures, our experts are ready to assist you.

By reaching out to our team, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your specific situation and receive personalized recommendations. We understand that every home is unique, and our experts will take the time to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and provide practical solutions tailored to your needs.

You don’t have to navigate the challenges of rat infestations alone. Our experts are committed to helping you regain control of your home and ensuring the well-being of your household. We prioritize your satisfaction and will work closely with you throughout the process to address your concerns effectively.

Take the first step in resolving your rat problem by talking to our experts at Bon Accord Pest Control. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get the advice you need to tackle your pest issues with confidence.

Get a Free Quote

Are you in need of professional pest control services to tackle a rat infestation in your home? At Bon Accord Pest Control in London, we offer a hassle-free process to provide you with a free quote tailored to your specific needs.


Our team of experts understands the urgency and importance of resolving pest issues promptly. By obtaining a free quote, you can have a clear understanding of the scope of work involved and the associated costs, helping you make an informed decision about the next steps.

To get your free quote, simply reach out to us via phone or email. Our friendly customer service team will be happy to assist you. We will gather relevant details about your rat infestation, such as the size of the affected area and any specific concerns you may have.

Based on the information provided, our experts will assess the situation and provide you with a comprehensive quote, outlining the recommended services and associated pricing. We strive to offer competitive rates while ensuring top-quality pest control solutions.

Choosing professional pest control services is an investment in the safety and well-being of your home and family. With our free quote, you can have a transparent understanding of the costs involved, allowing you to plan and budget accordingly.

Take the first step towards resolving your rat infestation by getting a free quote from Bon Accord Pest Control. Contact us today and let our experts provide you with an accurate assessment and a competitive quote tailored to your pest control needs.


Pigeon Nest On Balcony: Here’s What To Do

If you’re dealing with a pigeon nest on your balcony, it’s essential to take swift action to prevent further problems. Pigeons can cause damage, spread diseases, and create unsightly conditions. In our article on Bon Accord Pest Control’s website, we provide valuable insights on efficient pigeon control and professional cleaning solutions to help you tackle this issue effectively. Learn what steps to take and how to maintain a pristine environment by reading our article, “Pigeon Nest On Balcony: Here’s What To Do.” Trust our expertise at Bon Accord Pest Control in London to guide you through the process and ensure a pest-free and immaculate living space.

Efficient Pigeon Control and Professional Cleaning Solutions: Maintaining a Pristine Environment

If you’re looking for efficient pigeon control and professional cleaning solutions to maintain a pristine environment, Bon Accord Pest Control in London has you covered. Our comprehensive services address pigeon infestations, offering humane deterrent techniques and specialized cleaning methods to remove droppings and restore cleanliness. Learn more about maintaining a pristine environment by reading our article, “Efficient Pigeon Control and Professional Cleaning Solutions: Maintaining a Pristine Environment.” Trust our expertise to help you create a pest-free and immaculate space. Contact us today for reliable pigeon control and cleaning services.

Expert Bird Poop Removal: Safeguarding Your Property and Health with Our Services

For expert bird poop removal services that safeguard your property and health, visit our article on Bon Accord Pest Control’s website: “Expert Bird Poop Removal: Safeguarding Your Property and Health with Our Services.


In today’s interconnected world, social media plays a significant role in our daily lives. At Bon Accord Pest Control, we understand the importance of staying connected with our valued customers and the community. Through our social media platforms, we strive to foster engagement, share valuable information, and provide updates on our services.

Follow us on social media to stay informed about the latest pest control trends, helpful tips for maintaining a pest-free environment, and special promotions. Our social media channels also serve as a platform for you to ask questions, share your experiences, and interact with our team.

Join our growing community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and be part of the conversation. We value your feedback, and your participation helps us continuously improve our services to better meet your needs.

Stay connected with Bon Accord Pest Control on social media and let’s build a community focused on creating pest-free environments and promoting a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Karin HarndenKarin Harnden
17:14 05 May 24
We thought we had bedbugs but could find no evidence apart from what we thought were bites. I called Bon Accord and Gabriel was there within a couple of hours. He told us we had carpet beetle. Finding the evidence and showing us photos of the skin reaction which was exactly what we had. He advised and returned at a time to suit us to spray which was done thoroughly and efficiently. No sign of the little critters returning. Thank you Gabriel.
Luiza LoboLuiza Lobo
21:02 11 Apr 24
Gabriel went above and beyond. He is extremely knowledgable and very efficient at what he does. The results were outstanding. Nothing is too much for him. Delighted with his professionalism and work.
sam zsam z
19:11 03 Apr 24
Top-notched pest control service!! Went above and beyond to eradicate the rats from our property. Gabriel even offered to further investigate the infestation issues for our neighbours. We found him to be extremely professional and easy to work with. We highly recommend Gabriel to anyone in need of pest control.
23:29 02 Apr 24
Gabriel provided great service , responded quickly on an emergency for pest infestation, professional and friendly. No more pests at home.
Felicity GrayFelicity Gray
21:53 02 Apr 24
Gabriel was absolutely wonderful, a real life saver when I found a mouse by my bed at 10pm. He came in less than an hour and was able to catch the mouse and put my mind at rest so I could go to sleep! Highly recommend, fab service and lovely people.
Med KashaniMed Kashani
10:54 24 Feb 24
Gabriel turned up with an hours notice one evening and immediately identified the issued. He works efficiently and professionally throughout with timely follow-ups to ensure the problem was resolved. Once completed he was kind enough to continue to check in to see that the issue had gone. Having had Rentokil previously that spent two years doing very little this was a complete breathe of fresh air and solved the problem in less than two weeks. We are grateful and would highly recommend his services.
Nesma TalaatNesma Talaat
20:26 20 Feb 24
We were lucky to have found Bon Accord, they responded very fast to our request and Gabriel was very helpful and informative. He made several visits and did his absolute best until the mice problem we had was gone. Highly recommended.

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