EPA Guide Will Help Users of Agricultural Pesticides Comply with Revised Standard
EPA recently published a new guide intended to help users of agricultural pesticides comply with the requirements of its agricultural worker protection standard, which was revised in 2015. The recent revisions strengthened existing regulations on training, pesticide safety and hazard communication information, and use of personal protective equipment. According to EPA, the Worker Protection Standard is intended to reduce the risks of injury and illness resulting from workers’ exposure to pesticides on farms and in forests, nurseries, and enclosed spaces such as greenhouses. The primary audience of the new guide includes employers of agricultural workers or handlers, owners and managers of agricultural and commercial pesticide-handling establishments, and crop advisors.
The new guide will help users determine whether they need to comply with the revised Worker Protection Standard. The guide also provides information on how to comply with the standard’s requirements, including exemptions, exceptions, restrictions, options, and examples. A “quick reference guide” included with the publication summarizes the maximum requirements under the revised standard in two pages.
One of the major revisions to EPA’s Worker Protection Standard is annual mandatory training to inform agricultural workers on the required protections afforded to them. Currently, this training is required only once every five years. The majority of the new requirements, including annual mandatory training for workers, will become effective on Jan. 2, 2017. The rest of the new Worker Protection Standard requirements will go into effect in January 2018.
EPA published the new guide jointly with the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative.