Ag Center Fact Sheet
WPS - Handler/Monitoring Instructions
Monitoring and Special Instructions for Pesticide
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 the WPS requirements for monitoring pesticide handlers and for informing handlers about the pesticides and equipment they are using.
At least once every 2 hours, someone must check on-by sight or by voice communication-any handler who is handling a pesticide that has a skull and crossbones symbol on its label. (For monitoring the handling of fumigants in greenhouses, see immediately below.)
Someone must maintain constant visual or voice contact with any handler who is applying or otherwise handling a fumigant in a greenhouse. This includes handlers who enter the greenhouse during fumigation to operate ventilation systems, adjust tarps or other coverings used in the fumigation, or check air concentration levels. The person monitoring the fumigant handler must:
- be trained as a pesticide handler, and
- have immediate access to the PPE that the fumigant labeling requires for applicators.
You must inform your handler-employees, in a manner they can understand, about all labeling requirements related to safe use of the pesticide, including at least:
- the signal word,
- human hazard statements and precautions,
- personal protective equipment requirements,
- first aid instructions,
- environmental precautions, and
- any additional precautions about the handling task to be performed.
Option: You may allow handlers to read the labeling themselves, if they are able to read and understand it.
Safe operation of equipment
You must make sure that your handler-employees know how to safely and correctly use all equipment they are assigned to use for handling pesticides, including, if applicable, how to avoid drift and how to use chemigation equipment safely.
Handlers who are currently certified as applicators of restricted-use pesticides must be given all of the WPS handler protections, except that they need not receive WPS training.
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
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Kansas City, KS 66101