How to Conduct WPS Training

WPS training may be conducted by either a certified pesticide applicator or someone who has completed a train-the-trainer program (if available in your state). An employee who has been trained as a handler can only train workers. The training must be conducted in a manner and language that the employees can understand using EPA-approved training materials (see Training Resources). Employees must have the opportunity to ask questions during the training session.

There are two general types of WPS training programs: basic and complete. A thorough review of the WPS safety poster (see Training Resources) will satisfy the basic training requirement. The complete safety training program consists of eleven additional topics.

Employers must assure that untrained workers receive basic safety information before they enter into an area where a restricted-entry interval was in effect in the last 30 days. By the fifth day of their employment, all untrained workers must receive the complete WPS safety training.

Handlers and early-entry workers must be trained before they begin work. Handler training consists of the complete training program plus six points that emphasize health hazards and environmental concerns. Early-entry training for workers consists of the complete training program with additional instruction on labeling, health hazards, first aid, and the proper use of PPE. See Training Resources for educational materials.
Workers and handlers must be retrained every 5 years. The employer must keep a record of the date, the participants, and the trainer(s) involved in each training session. Employees who are currently certified to apply restricted-use pesticides, or who can verify that they have been trained within the last 5 years, are not required to be trained.

Compiled by Wayne Buhler, PhD.

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