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Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS)
EPA's Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is aimed at reducing the risk of pesticide poisoning and injury among agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. The WPS offers occupational protections to over 2 million agricultural workers (people involved in the production of agricultural plants) and pesticide handlers (people who mix, load, or apply crop pesticides) who work at over 600,000 agricultural establishments (farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses). en español
The WPS requires that owners and employers on agricultural establishments:
- Provide protections to workers and handlers from potential pesticide exposure.
- Train them about pesticide safety.
- Provide mitigations in case exposures may occur.
The requirements in the WPS are intended to inform workers and handlers about pesticide safety, provide protections from potential exposure to pesticides, and mitigate exposures that do occur.
- Pesticide safety training for workers and handlers.
- Access to labeling information for pesticide handlers and early-entry workers.
- Access to specific information for workers and handlers, which includes providing information about:
- pesticide applications on the establishment,
- emergency information, and
- a pesticide safety poster at a central location;
- Keep workers out of areas being treated with pesticides.
- Keep workers out of areas that are under a restricted-entry interval (REI), with a few narrow exceptions.
- Protect early-entry workers who are doing permitted tasks in pesticide-treated areas during an REI, including special instructions and duties related to correct use of personal protective equipment.
- Notify workers about pesticide-treated areas so they can avoid inadvertent exposures.
- Monitor handlers using highly toxic pesticides.
- Provide required personal protective equipment to handlers.
- Decontamination supplies a sufficient supply of water, soap, and towels for routine washing and emergency decontamination.
- Emergency assistance making transportation available to a medical care facility in case of a pesticide injury or poisoning, and providing information about the pesticide(s) to which the person may have been exposed.
The WPS protects employees on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses from occupational exposure to agricultural pesticides and covers two types of employees:
- Pesticide handlers: those who mix, load, or apply agricultural pesticides; clean or repair pesticide application equipment; or assist with the application of pesticides.
- Agricultural workers: those who perform tasks related to growing and harvesting plants on farms or in greenhouses, nurseries, or forests.