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Ag Center Fact Sheet

EPA 305-F-98-031
September 1998
The National Agriculture Compliance Assistance Center

WPS - Requirements for Growers/Family

Does the WPS Require Growers to Protect Themselves?

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 yourself and your immediate family. 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.

Are small agricultural establishments exempted from compliance with the Worker Protection Standard?

No. Except for a partial exemption for owners and their immediate families (immediate family includes only spouse, children, stepchildren, foster children, parents, stepparents, foster parents, brothers, and sisters), all agricultural establishments that use pesticides that have WPS labeling must comply with the Standard when using those products for uses within the scope of the WPS.

The definition of a "worker" includes a self-employed person.  Does this mean that growers are required to comply with all provisions where they are not specifically exempt?

In general, self-employed people who perform worker activities must provide themselves with the protections required for workers. However, if they qualify for the agricultural owner exemption, they are exempt from some provisions.  Those who qualify as "agricultural owners" are exempt from some WPS provisions.

Are growers (owners) personally subject to the REI provisions, entry restrictions, and PPE requirements for early-entry activities?

Yes, growers (owners) are personally subject to the Restricted Entry Interval (REI) provisions, entry restrictions, and PPE requirements for early entry, when using a product referencing the WPS.

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

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