Worker Protection Standards – EPA Region VIII

Worker Protection Standard for
Agricultural Pesticides
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
Worker Protection Standard
• To reduce the risks of illness or injury
resulting from workers’ and handlers’
occupational exposures to pesticides
• Requires workplace practices designed
to reduce or eliminate exposure to
pesticides and establishes procedures
for responding to emergencies
• Importance of WPS
• WPS Elements for workers and
• WPS Elements for workers
• WPS Elements for handlers
• WPS in WY
*This presentation is solely intended for guidance. The information in this guidance does
not constitute a rulemaking by the Agency, and may not be relied on to create a
substantive or procedural right or benefit enforceable at law by any person. Refer to the
WPS regulations at 40 C.F.R. Part 170.
Why is this important?
• To be in compliance with Federal
• To gain employer benefits
Protecting your workforce may result in…
Increased productivity and efficiency
Reduced absenteeism and turnover rates
Reduced overhead
Greater profits
Increased employee loyalty
Positive public perception
Sense of pride and confidence
Employee Benefits
• Reduced risk of poisonings
• Reduced risk of injuries
• Maintain health & steady income
WPS applies when…
…any pesticide product is used on an agricultural
establishment in the production of agricultural plants
• Agricultural establishment = farm, forest, nursery,
• Agricultural plants = food, feed and fiber plants, trees,
turfgrass, flowers, shrubs, ornamentals, and seedlings
WPS Applies if…
• You apply or employ others to apply
pesticides for production of agricultural plants
on a farm, forest nursery, or greenhouse
• That you own or manage
• Where you hire a contractor for services, including
labor contractors
• You operate a business in which you or
people you employ perform tasks as a crop
advisor on any farm, forest, nursery, or
Responsibility for WPS Compliance
• Employer bears primary responsibility
• Labor contractors may also be jointly
• WPS resides in the label
• Exempt pesticide uses
Use on livestock
Mosquito abatement
Control of vertebrate pests
“Agricultural Use
Requirements” box
Duties for ALL employers
(of Workers and Handlers)
Information at a Central Location
Pesticide Safety Training
Decontamination Site
Information Exchange
Emergency Assistance
1. Information at a Central Location
Display where workers/handlers can
readily see, read, and access it
Display where workers/handlers are
likely to congregate or pass by
Inform workers/handlers of
Example of Central Locations
Example of Central Locations
1. Information at Central Location
• Pesticide safety poster
• Specific information about applications
– Location and description of treated area
– Product name, EPA #, active ingredients
– Time and date pesticide is to be applied
– Restricted-entry interval
• Emergency information
– Name, address, telephone number of nearest
emergency medical care facility
1. Information at Central Location
What if treated soil/plants are moved
during the REI or 30 days after the REI?
– Central posting information must remain
reasonably accurate
Update information
Provide change of location information beforehand
Refer to markings on the pots in the posting
Other systematic matter
2. Pesticide Safety Training
• Must provide basic pesticide safety information
before entering a treated area
– Where pesticides are found
– How to prevent pesticides from entering the body
– Further training provided within 5 days
• Ensure complete training occurs before the 6th
working day or before early-entry & handler tasks
• Training must occur
every 5 years
2. Pesticide Safety Training
• Training may include written and/or audiovisual
• Use qualified instructor (certified applicator,
designated trainer, handler – for workers only)
who presents training in a manner employees
understand and responds to questions
• Use EPA-approved materials
• 11 points of worker training;
additional handler points
3. Decontamination Site
• Locate within ¼ mile of workers &
– Cool, clean water for washing, eye flushing, and
– Soap
– Single-use towels
– Clean change of
clothes (handlers)
MO Dept. of Ag.
2. Decontamination Site
• Decontamination Kit
4. Information Exchange
• Before application, commercial handlers
must inform ag establishment operator of
Location and description of area to be treated
Time and date of application
Product name, EPA Reg. #., active ingredients, REI
If oral and/or posted warning is required
Other label safety requirements
4. Information Exchange cont’d…
• Ag establishment operator must inform
commercial handler of
– Location and description of all areas where
pesticides will be applied or where REI will be in
effect while handler is on establishment
– Restrictions on entering those areas
5. Emergency Assistance
• Provide emergency transportation
• Provide information to victim and medical
- product name, EPA registration number,
active ingredient(s)
- first aid & medical information from label
- pesticide use information
- information about
victim’s exposure
Additional duties for Worker employers
(see also worker protection box on product label)
1. Notice of applications
- Oral and/or posted warnings (according
to the label)
POST all greenhouse applications at all entrances
No sooner than 24 hours before application
During the entire restricted-entry interval
No more than 3 days beyond the restricted-entry interval
Additional duties for Worker employers
(see also worker protection box on product label)
2. Entry restrictions after applications
Follow ‘Restricted Entry Interval’ on label
Special application restrictions in greenhouses
Early-entry workers and handlers wearing PPE
can perform certain approved tasks
3. Restrictions during applications
Entry allowed only to trained and equipped
In nurseries, area immediately around treated
area may also be restricted (25 – 100 ft.)
Additional duties for Handler employers
1. Give handlers specific instructions
Instructions for the safe use of pesticide
product and application equipment
Label is accessible at all times
2. Provide personal protective equipment (PPE)
Clean, properly fit, inspect and repair as necessary
Additional duties for Handler employers
3. Monitor handlers in hazardous
Every 2 hours with skull and cross bones on label
Visual or voice contact with greenhouse fumigation
Agricultural Establishment
Owners and Immediate Family
• Maintain & use personal protective equipment
• Observe restricted entry interval (REI)
• Participate in employer information exchange
WPS in WY & CO
• Common WPS violations*:
– 71% posting of application information
– 71% safety training
– 48% safety poster, emergency information
– 43% notice of applications
– 38% decontamination
* Violation rates for one EPA inspector
GOAL: to protect employees on farms and
in forests, nurseries, and greenhouses
from exposure to agricultural pesticides
HOW: through a set of common-sense
workplace practices to reduce or eliminate
RESULT: healthy employees = healthy
workforce = many potential benefits
Peg Perreault
303 312-6286
Barbara Barron
Jaslyn Dobrahner
303 312-6617
303 312-6252
999 18th Street, Suite 300
Denver, CO 80202
1 800 227-8917