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Ag Center Fact Sheet

EPA 305-F-98-024
September 1998
The National Agriculture Compliance Assistance Center

WPS - Posted Warning Signs

Posted Warning Signs

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 posting signs to warn people about pesticide-treated areas. The questions answered here were submitted to the Agency by people seeking clarification on this part of the regulation. The questions and answers were released by EPA's Office of Compliance on March 15, 1995.

If a treated area has unlimited entry points, how often should treated-area warning signs be posted to be "visible from all usual points of entry?"  Every 100 feet?

The rule requires that signs be visible at all usual points of worker entry, including at least each access road, each border with any labor camp adjacent to the treated area, and each footpath and other walking route that enters the treated area. If there are many usual points of entry, then signs must be visible from all usual points of entry.  When there are no usual points of worker entry, signs must be posted in the corners of the treated area or a location affording maximum visibility.  In areas where there are unlimited points of entry, the agricultural employer must determine the usual points of entry and make signs visible from those points of entry.

If a person owns private forest land that the public frequently enters, does he have any responsibility to post this land prior to or after the treatment with a pesticide?

The fact that the public enters does not trigger the WPS requirement for posting. The WPS does prohibit an agricultural employer from allowing any person to remain in the area during the pesticide application. In addition, there are specific labeling statements which prohibit the application of the product in such a manner that will contact persons either directly or through drift. Also, there may be non-WPS label specific or additional state or local requirements that are applicable.

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
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Kansas City, KS 66101
Toll-free: 1-888-663-2155
Internet: www.epa.gov/agriculture

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