Worker Protection Standards (WPS)
Federal law requires
agricultural workers to be trained regarding pesticide safety. There
are two kinds of training:
1) for agricultural workers who work with plants which have been treated with pesticides; and
2) for agricultural workers who apply pesticides under the direction of a licensed pesticide applicator.
Federal law also provides for penalties for failure to comply.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE TO ASSURE THAT WORKERS RECEIVE WPS TRAINING?
The owner or operator of an agricultural enterprise is responsible to see that workers receive the required WPS training before they complete five continuous days of employment.
WHAT IS A PESTICIDE?
A "pesticide" is any of a variety of chemicals designed to control insects, weeds, fungi, nematodes, birds, mammals, and so forth which may damage or impede the growth of crops, grass, flowers, shrubs and trees used in landscaping, represent a health hazard or nuisance in buildings, or even destroy wood in buildings. Pesticides include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, nematicides, avicides, rodenticides, and others. Pesticides may be in the form of liquid concentrates, diluted liquids, powders, pellets, or baits. Use of any pesticide-or exposure to pesticide residues in the course of work-requires that workers receive WPS training.
WHAT LEGAL RIGHTS DOES A WORKER HAVE UNDER THE WPS PROGRAM?
A worker has certain legal rights under the WPS program. These include the right to be informed about pesticide use that may affect the work environment, the right to receive WPS training, and the right to ask questions without fear of reprisal.
WHAT INFORMATION DOES THE WPS TRAINING PROVIDE?
For workers exposed to pesticide residues on plants with which they are working, WPS training must include the following eleven items:
- Descriptions of where and in what form pesticides may be encountered during work activities.
- Hazards of pesticides resulting from toxicity and exposure including acute and chronic effects, delayed effects, and sensitization.
- Routes through which pesticides can enter the body.
- Signs and symptoms of common types of pesticide poisoning.
- Emergency first aid for pesticide injuries or poisonings.
- Instructions on how to obtain emergency medical care.
- Routine and emergency decontamination procedures, including emergency eyeflushing techniques.
- Hazards from chemigation and drift.
- Hazards from pesticide residues on clothing.
- Warnings about taking pesticides or pesticide containers home.
- Requirement of the WPS designed to reduce the risks of illness or injury resulting from workers' occupational exposure to pesticides including application and entry restrictions, design of the warning sign, posting of warning signs, oral warnings, availability of specific information about applications, and protection against retaliatory acts.
WHO CAN PROVIDE WPS TRAINING?
The Utah Department
of Agriculture and Food's (UDAF's) Plant Industry Division is given
responsibility for administration of the WPS program and can provide
Commercial training enterprises can be authorized by UDAF to provide the training, and owners or operators of agricultural enterprises can be trained by UDAF personnel to administer the training. In any case, a certificate is provided to the agricultural worker as documentation that the training has been completed.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Drew Matthews, Compliance Specialist (801) 538-4925
Clark Burgess (801) 538-7188
of Agriculture & Food
350 N Redwood Road
PO Box 146500
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6500