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Pesticide Worker Safety

Decontamination Supplies Under the Worker Protection Standard

Employers at agricultural establishments must make sure that the decontamination supplies described below for washing off pesticides and pesticide residues are provided to:

  • Handlers while they are doing handling tasks.
  • Workers who are working in a pesticide-treated area and are doing tasks that involve contact with anything that has been treated with the pesticide, including soil, water or surfaces of plants.
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What supplies are required?

Employers at agricultural establishments must provide workers and handlers with:

  • Water - enough for routine washing and emergency eye flushing.
  • Soap and single use towels - enough for workers’ or handlers’ needs.

For handlers, employers must also provide:

  • Enough water for washing the entire body in case of emergency.
  • Clean change of clothes, such as one-size-fits-all coveralls, to put on if the handlers’ garments are contaminated and need to be removed immediately.

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How long must supplies be provided?

For: Provide decontamination supplies... ...if...
Handlers …during the duration of the handling task.
Workers …for 7 days after the end of the restricted-entry interval (REI)… the REI of the pesticide is 4 hours or less.
…for 30 days after the end of the REI… the REI of the pesticide is greater than 4 hours.
…for 30 days after the end of the pesticide application there is no REI.

Where should decontamination supplies be located?

  • All decontamination supplies for workers must be:
    • located together;
    • reasonably accessible to workers; and
    • not more than ¼ mile from each worker.
  • Decontamination supplies for handlers must be:
    • located together;
    • reasonably accessible to handlers; and
    • not more than ¼ mile from each handler during the handling activity.
  • Handlers mixing pesticides must have decontamination supplies at the mixing area.

Worker decontamination supplies must not be in an area:

  • being treated with pesticides; or
  • under a restricted-entry interval (REI) unless provided in conjunction with approved early-entry work.

Handler decontamination supplies may be located in an area being treated with pesticides or an area that has an REI in effect only if:

  • the supplies are in the area where the handler is doing handling tasks;
  • the soap, single-use towels, and clean change of clothing are in closed containers; and
  • the water is running tap water or is in a closed container.

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What are the emergency eye-flush requirements?

A handler employer must provide each handler with at least 1 pint of emergency eye flush water when the pesticide labeling requires protective eyewear for the handling task being performed. The emergency eye flush water must be immediately accessible.

Decontamination After Handling Tasks

At the site where handlers remove their personal protective equipment (PPE), the handler employer must provide:

  • soap;
  • clean towels; and
  • enough water to allow handlers to wash thoroughly after removing their PPE.

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