Jump to main content.


EPA

Ag Center Fact Sheet

EPA 305-F-98-017
September 1998
The National Agriculture Compliance Assistance Center

Agrichemicals
WPS - Closed Systems

FOCUS ON
Closed Systems

The Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a regulation issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 and amended in 1995. It covers pesticides that are used in the production of agricultural plants on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses.  The WPS requires you to take steps to reduce the risk of pesticide-related illness and injury if you (1) use such pesticides, or (2) employ workers or pesticide handlers who are exposed to such pesticides.  This fact sheet will help you understand how to comply with WPS requirements for protecting people from pesticide exposure when they are using a "closed system" for mixing, loading, or application.

What is a closed system?

Closed systems are systems designed by the manufacturer to enclose the pesticide to prevent it from contacting handlers or other people while it is being handled. Such systems must function properly and be used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's written operating instructions.

Examples of closed systems

Examples of closed systems include:

PPE can be reduced

You may allow handlers to omit some of the personal protective equipment (PPE) listed on the pesticide labeling for a handling task if the handlers are using a closed system.  Even when reduced PPE is permitted to be worn during a task, handlers must be provided all PPE required by the pesticide labeling for that task and have it immediately available for use in an emergency.  These exceptions to PPE are allowed unless expressly prohibited by product labeling.

PPE for mixing or loading

When using a closed system to mix or load pesticides with the signal word "DANGER" or "WARNING," handlers need not wear all the PPE listed on the pesticide labeling, but must wear at least:

When using a closed system to mix or load pesticides with the signal word "CAUTION," handlers need not wear all the PPE listed on the pesticide labeling, but must wear at least:

PPE for other handling tasks

When using a closed system to do handling tasks other than mixing and loading with ANY pesticide, handlers need not wear all of the PPE listed on the pesticide labeling, but must wear at least:

Such closed systems might include closed application systems designed to incorporate pesticides into soil, but only if the system does not allow any pesticide contact with the air throughout the entire application process.

Eye protection

When using a closed system that operates under pressure, handlers may wear the reduced PPE specified above, but must add protective eyewear.

For more information

To get more facts about compliance, contact the Ag Center by phone, fax, or mail.  Call the toll-free number to ask compliance questions or order publications.  At the Ag Center's Web site you can explore compliance information and order or download publications.  For a complete publications list, request document 10001, "Ag Center Publications."

The Ag Center welcomes comments on this document and its other services.

National Agriculture Compliance Assistance Center
901 North Fifth Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
Toll-free: 1-888-663-2155
Internet: www.epa.gov/agriculture

This page is sponsored by EPA's Ag Center. Ag Center logo


Local Navigation


Jump to main content.