EPA Increases Protections against Pesticides for Agricultural Workers
On Sept. 28, EPA finalized revisions to its agricultural worker protection standard that will bring health protections for agricultural workers in line with those already in place for workers in other industries. The new revisions strengthen existing regulations on training, pesticide safety and hazard communication information, and use of personal protective equipment. According to EPA, the regulation is intended to reduce the risks of injury and illness resulting from workers’ exposure to pesticides on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses. One major revision to EPA’s Worker Protection Standard is annual mandatory training to inform agricultural workers about the required protections afforded to them. Currently, this training is required only once every five years. The revised standard expands training to include instructions on reducing take-home exposure from pesticides on work clothing. The revisions also ensure that changes in personal protective equipment will be consistent with OSHA’s requirements for respirator use. Learn more on EPA’s website.