Resources available to aid compliance with updated pesticide standards

News | Friday, February 17th, 2017

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Farmers and farm workers seeking to comply with the 2017 Worker Protection Standard updates can get helpful information from the Office of Indiana State Chemist and Purdue Pesticide Programs.

The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a set of federal standards administered jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency and the state chemist’s office, designed to protect pesticide handlers and agricultural workers who may be exposed to pesticides during or after application. While much of the rules’ original content remains intact, the updated standards include more rigorous training standards, more detailed guidelines for personal protective equipment and emergency procedures, expanded posting and label requirements and a minimum age for handlers. Most of the updates took effect on Jan. 2 of this year.

“The new requirements are designed to close some of the old loopholes that may have left some workers and handlers at risk,” said Joe Becovitz, pesticide program specialist for the Office of Indiana State Chemist. “The regulations will help adjust standards like workers’ right to know, to make sure they align with the guidelines of other federal agencies.”

The most significant update is requiring pesticide training for workers and handlers yearly, instead of every five years, Becovitz said. The expanded training includes more topics, and employers must keep training records for two years. Additionally, employers are required to post safety data sheets along with application information, and to make this information available in more than one way to their workers.

A quick guide to the updates and how to comply with them is available for download at http://bit.ly/OISC_WPS, with a more detailed guide available at http://bit.ly/EPA_WPS.

For more information, contact Becovitz at 765-494-1589 or becovitzj@purdue.edu.

Writer: Jessica Merzdorf, 765-494-7719, jmerzdor@purdue.edu

Source: Joe Becovitz, 765-494-1589, becovitzj@purdue.edu

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Darrin Pack, dpack@purdue.edu
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