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Worker Protection Standards Farmer Checklist

Information at a Central Location

In an easily seen central location on each agricultural establishment, display close together:

  • EPA WPS safety poster,
  • name, address, and telephone number of the nearest emergency medical facility,
  • farm map showing areas that may be, or have been treated,
  • record of each pesticide application [from before each application begins until 30 days after the restricted entry interval (REI)] containing:
  • product name, EPA registration number, and active ingredient(s),
  • location and description of treated area, crop
  • time and date of application, REI, and date and time for safe reentry
  • Tell workers and handlers where the information is posted, and allow them access.
  • Posted information must be legible, in English and language of workers.


Pesticide Safety Training

Unless they possess a valid EPA-approved training card, train handlers and workers before they begin work and at least once each 5 years, and provide yearly orientation:

  • use written and/or audiovisual materials,
  • use EPA WPS handler training materials for training handlers,
  • use NJDEP WPS educational pamphlets for training workers in their native languages,                                                                  
  • have a certified applicator conduct the training orally and/ or audiovisually in a manner the employees can understand, using easily understood terms, and respond to questions.
  • workers must be trained before they accumulate 5 days of entry into fields treated with pesticides in the last 30 days - OR a REI has been in effect.
  • maintain verification of training


Decontamination Sites


Establish a decontamination site within 1/4 mile of all workers and handlers.


  • enough water for routine and emergency whole-body washing and for eyeflushing,
  • plenty of soap and single-use towels,
  • a clean coverall.
  • Provide water that is safe and cool enough for washing, for eyeflushing, and for drinking. Do not use tank-stored water that is also used for mixing pesticides.
  • Provide handlers the same supplies where personal protective equipment (PPE) is removed at the end of a task.
  • Provide the same supplies at each mixing and loading site.
  • Make at least 1 pint eyeflush water immediately accessible to each handler.
  • Do not put worker decontamination sites in areas being treated or under an REI.
  • Put decontamination supplies for handlers in enclosed containers in areas being treated.
    Emergency Assistance
    When any handier or worker may have been poisoned or injured by pesticides Promptly make transportation available to an appropriate medical facility.
  • Promptly provide to the victim and to medical personnel:
  • product name, EPA registration number, and active ingredient(s),
  • all first aid and medical information from label,
  • description of how the pesticide was used,
  • information about victim's exposure.  
  • Restricted-Entry Intervals REI’s
  • During any REI, do not allow workers to enter a treated area and contact anything treated with the pesticide to which the REI applies.

Restrictions During Applications


  • In areas being treated with pesticides, allow entry only to appropriately trained and equipped handlers.
  • Keep nursery workers at least 100 feet away from nursery areas being treated.
  • Allow only handlers to be in a greenhouse:
  • during a pesticide application,
  • until labeling-listed air concentration level is met or, if no such level, until after 2 hours of ventilation with fans.

    Notice About Applications 
  • Orally warn workers and post treated areas if the pesticide labeling requires.
  • Otherwise, either orally warn workers or post entrances to treated areas. Tell workers which method is in effect.
  • Post all greenhouse applications.

    Posted Warning Signs:

  • Post legible 14" X 16" WPS-design signs when required just before application; keep posted during REI; remove before workers enter and within 3 days after the end of the REI.
  • Post signs so they can be seen at all entrances to treated areas, including entrances from labor camps.

    Oral Warnings:  
  • Before each application, tell workers who are on the establishment (in a manner they can understand):
  • location and description of treated area,
  • REI, and not to enter during REI.
  • Workers who enter the establishment after application starts must receive the same warning at the start of their work period.

    Employer Information Exchange 
  • Before any application, commercial handler employers must make sure the operator of the agricultural establishment where a pesticide will be applied is aware of:
  • location and description of area to be treated,
  • time and date of application,
  • product name, EPA registration number, active ingredient(s), and REI,
  • whether the product label requires both oral warnings and treated area posting,
  • all other safety requirements on labeling for workers other people.
  • Operators of agricultural establishments must make sure any commercial pesticide establishment operator they hire is aware of:
  • specific location and description of all areas on the agricultural establishment where pesticides will be applied or where an REI will be in effect while the commercial handler is on the establishment,
  • restrictions on entering those areas

    Application Restrictions and Monitoring 
  • Do not allow handlers to apply a pesticide so that it contacts directly or through drift, anyone other than trained and PPE-equipped handlers.
  • Make sight or voice contact at least every 2 hours with anyone handling pesticides labeled with a skull and crossbones.
  • Make sure a trained handier equipped with labeling-specified PPE maintains constant voice or visual contact with any handler in a greenhouse who is doing fumigant-related tasks, such as application or air-level monitoring.

    Specific Instructions for Handler 
  • Before handlers do any handling task, inform them, in a manner they can understand, of all pesticide labeling instructions for safe use.
  • Keep pesticide labeling accessible to each handler during entire handling task.
  • Before handlers use any assigned handling equipment, tell them how to use it safely.
  • When commercial handlers will be on an agricultural establishment, inform them beforehand of:                                        
  • areas on the establishment where pesticides will be applied or where an REI will be in effect,
  • restrictions on entering those areas.

    Equipment Safety 
  • Inspect pesticide handling equipment before each use, and repair or replace as needed.
  • Allow only appropriately trained and equipped handlers to repair, clean, or adjust pesticide equipment that contains pesticides or residues.

    Duties Related to PPE:
  • Provide handlers with the PPE the pesticide labeling requires for the task, and be sure it is:
  • clean and in operating condition,
  • worn and used correctly,
  • inspected before each day of use,
  • repaired or replaced as needed.
  • Be sure respirators fit correctly
  • Take steps to avoid heat illness
  • Provide handlers a pesticide-free area for:
  • storing personal clothing not in use,
  • putting on PPE at start of task,
  • taking off PPE at end of task.
  • Do not allow used PPE to be worn home or taken home.


Care of PPE:
Store and wash used PPE separately from other clothing and laundry.

  • If PPE will be reused, clean it before each day of reuse, according to the instructions from the PPE manufacturer unless the pesticide labeling specifies other requirements. If there are no other instructions, wash in detergent and hot water.
  • Dry the clean PPE before storing, or hang to dry.
  • Store clean PPE away from other clothing and away from pesticide areas.

    Replacing Respirator Purifying Elements:
  • Replace dust/mist filters:
  • when breathing becomes difficult,
  • when filter is damaged or torn,
  • when respirator label or pesticide label requires (whichever is shorter), OR
  • at the end of day's work period, in the absence of any other instructions or indications.
  • Replace vapor-removing cartridges/canisters:
  • when odor/taste/irritation, is noticed,
  • when respirator label or pesticide label requires(whichever is shorter), OR
  • at the end of day's work period, in the absence of any other instructions or indications

    Disposal of PPE: 
  • Discard coveralls and other absorbent materials that are heavily contaminated with undiluted pesticide having a DANGER or WARNING signal word.
  • Follow Federal, State, and local laws when disposing of PPE that cannot be cleaned correctly.

    Instructions for People Who Clean PPE:
    Inform people who clean or launder PPE:  
  • that PPE may be contaminated with pesticides,
  • of the potentially harmful effects of exposure to pesticides,
  • how to protect themselves when handling PPE,
  • how to clean PPE correctly.