Premium Joomla Template by HostMonster Reviews

US EPA Announces Tightened Worker Protection Standard

On September 28, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a new regulation to significantly tighten the federal Worker Protection Standard (WPS), setting new minimum standards for field worker and pesticide handler safety, hazard communication, and other topics related to pesticide safety in agricultural use.

While the revised standards will mean significant changes in many states, regulations of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation already meet most of the new requirements.  The new EPA regulations  "do not represent a major overhaul" for California but may require some "adjustments," said Charlotte Fadipe, spokeswoman for the Department of Pesticide Regulation.

Two particular areas of change in the EPA Worker Protection Standard will differ from California regulations:

  • Imposition of a minimum age of 18 years for workers who enter pesticide-treated areas prior to the expiration of the re-entry interval specified for the material applied and for pesticide handlers; California regulations (California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Section 6612) already impose a minimum age of 18 for handlers;
  • A requirement for annual training for field workers; under both California and federal regulations, field workers are required to be trained every five years. 

Due to the need to permit states enforcement agencies, farm employers, and EPA time to adjust to the new regulations, many of the revisions will not become effective until 14 months after publication in the Federal Register.

FELS will keep you updated as more information becomes available.