Duties of both worker and handler employers (also see WPS-Duties of Employers) (pdf)
Some WPS protections that employers must provide are nearly the same whether the employees are workers or handlers.
Information at a central location
For the benefit of all employees, information must be posted at an easily seen, central location:
This pesticide information must be posted just prior to application and must remain posted for 30 days after the end of the restricted entry interval listed on the pesticide label
- the name, address and telephone number of the nearest emergency medical facility
- an EPA WPS safety poster
Employers must tell workers and handlers where the information is posted and allow them access. The information must remain legible and employees must be notified of any changes to the emergency medical facility information.
Employers must provide a site where workers and handlers can wash pesticides and residues from their hands and body.
A decontamination site must contain:
- enough water for routine and emergency whole-body washing and for eye flushing (approx. 1 gallon per person)
- plenty of soap and single-use towels
- a clean coverall, for use by handlers
A decontamination site must be within 1/4 mile of the employees' work site. If the work place is more than 1/4 mile from the nearest point of vehicular access, the decontamination site may be located at the nearest access point.
Handler employers must also provide a decontamination site:
- where handlers remove their personal protective equipment (PPE) at the end of a task
- at each mixing site
Emergency eye flush water must be immediately available if the pesticide label calls for protective eyewear.
The decontamination site may not be located in an area under restricted entry unless it serves handlers working in that area. In this case, all supplies must be protected from contamination.
When any handler or worker may have been poisoned or injured by pesticides, an employer must promptly make transportation available to an appropriate medical facility. Employers must provide the victim and medical personnel with:
- the product name, EPA registration number, and active ingredient(s)
- all first aid and medical information from the label
- a description of how the pesticide was used
- information about the victim's exposure
Pesticide Safety Training
Handlers and workers must be trained every five (5) years unless they are licensed private or commercial pesticide applicators.
- Handlers must be trained before they do any handling activity.
- Workers must receive either basic pesticide safety information or full, WPS worker pesticide safety training before they enter an area on the agricultural establishment which has been treated or under REI in the last 30 days. When basic pesticide safety information is given, workers must still receive the full, WPS pesticide safety training within 5 days.
Who can conduct training?
Training may be conducted by a certified applicator or by someone who has completed a train-the-trainer program. Training may be done orally and/or audio visually, but must be in a manner and language that employees can understand, using an interpreter when necessary. Trainers must respond to questions.
A grower must be informed when a pesticide is to be applied on his/her property by a commercial applicator. The commercial applicator must provide the grower all the information needed to be posted, plus:
- whether both oral warnings and postings are required
- if there are other protection requirements on the label for workers or other people
On the other hand, the grower must make sure the commercial applicator is aware of:
- all areas where pesticides will be applied or where an REI might be in effect while the commercial applicator is on the establishment, and
- entry restrictions for those areas
Agricultural employers must also provide some additional protections specifically for their workers (see Additional duties of worker employers).
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