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Publication #PI-115

Worker Protection Standard: Employer Information Exchange1

Frederick M. Fishel2

The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a Federal regulation designed to protect agricultural workers (people involved in the production of agricultural plants) and pesticide handlers (people mixing, loading, or applying pesticides or doing other tasks involving direct contact with pesticides). It has been in full implementation since 1995. A complete reference for the WPS is provided by How to Comply with the Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides: What Employers Need to Know. http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/epa-735-b-05-002.pdf

Introduction

Employers of commercial pesticide handlers must make sure that their customers – the operators of farms, forests, nurseries, or greenhouses – know certain information about the pesticides to be applied on their establishments. At the same time, the customers (agricultural employers) must give the commercial handler's employer specific information concerning treated areas.

What the agricultural employer needs to know

The employers of commercial pesticide handlers must inform their customers (the agricultural employer) about:

  • The specific location and description of the area(s) that are to be treated with a pesticide;

  • Time and date the pesticide is scheduled to be applied;

  • Product name, EPA registration number, and active ingredient(s);

  • Restricted-entry interval for the pesticide;

  • Whether the pesticide labeling requires both treated-area posting and oral notification; and

  • Any other specific requirements on the pesticide labeling concerning protection of workers and other persons during or after application.

Agricultural employers must have this information to protect their employees. See UF/IFAS EDIS Documents PI-107, Worker Protection Standard: Notice about Applications (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/PI144), and PI-112, Worker Protection Standard: Information at a Central Location (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/PI149).

What the commercial pesticide handler's employer needs to know

The operators of agricultural establishments must inform hired commercial pesticide handler employers of the location and description of areas that may have already been treated with a pesticide or are under a restricted-entry interval. Employers of commercial pesticide handlers must have this information to protect their employees. For example, if custom applicators are scheduled to use ground equipment to apply a pesticide on a farm, they need to be informed of any nearby areas on the farm that they should stay out of because the area has a restricted-entry interval in effect. Or if commercial crop advisors are scheduled to scout in an area on a farm that remains under a restricted-entry interval, they need to be told what personal protective equipment they must wear while in that area.

Additional information

Footnotes

1.

This document is PI-115, one of a series of the Pesticide Information Office, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date April 2006. Reviewed August 2012 Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Frederick M. Fishel, associate professor, Agronomy Department, and Director, Pesticide Information Office; Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.