The WPS requires employers to protect both workers and handlers (see WPS Terms to Know). Be aware that someone may be a “worker” while completing one task and a “handler” while completing a different task.
What employers must do for both workers and handlers:
- Provide information at a central location, including the WPS safety poster (see Training Resources); the name, address, and telephone number of the nearest emergency medical facility; and a list of dates and times that pesticides have been applied within the last 30 days, including a description of each treated area, the product name, EPA registration number, active ingredient(s), and REI for each pesticide on that list.
- Provide pesticide safety training (see How to Conduct Training).
- Provide a decontamination site that supplies at least 3 gallons of clean water per handler and 1 gallon per worker, soap, and single-use towels. The water must not be used for mixing pesticides unless it is equipped with a functioning check valve or anti-siphoning device.
- Make emergency transportation available in the event that an employee is poisoned or injured by pesticides.
- Provide the treating medical facility with pesticide product information upon request.
What employers must do for workers:
- Notify them about applications, either verbally or with a WPS-approved field sign (depending on the label specifications). Workers must be informed which notification method is being used.
- Protect them during applications.
- Observe restricted-entry intervals (see WPS Terms to Know) found on labels
- Provide label specified personal protective equipment (PPE) in a clean and operational condition for early-entry worker (see WPS Terms to Know).
What employers must do for handlers:
- Monitor (every 2 hours) handlers applying pesticides labeled with a skull and crossbones
- Provide a clean change of clothes (e.g., a one-piece coverall) at the decontamination site
- Give specific instructions to handlers concerning the pesticide label and equipment operation.
- Inspect safety equipment before each day’s use. Repair or discard any damaged equipment.
- Provide and properly maintain PPE; product labels specify which PPE must be worn.
Compiled by Wayne Buhler, PhD.