Montana pesticide applicators and owners of agricultural establishments should pay special attention to new worker protection standard requirements as of January 2018. The US EPA published a revised Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) in 2015 to better protect agricultural workers from pesticide exposure. Revisions went into effect January 2, 2017; however, Montana pesticide applicators are reminded of a few revisions that recently went into effect January 1, 2018. The following paragraphs define the new 2018 requirements while providing additional WPS resources.
Most of the revised WPS requirements became effective on January 2, 2017. Three requirements went into effect January 2, 2018:
Pesticide safety training must cover the expanded WPS content.
Pesticide safety information (posters) must meet the revised standards. Updated posterscan be reviewed and ordered on the PERC website.
Handlers must suspend applications if workers or other people are in the application exclusion zone (AEZ). The AEZ refers to the area surrounding the pesticide application equipment that must be void of all persons other than appropriately trained and equipped handlers during pesticide applications. See details at the MSU PEP WPS website.For general information on WPS, navigate to the EPA website or view the MSU PEP website. Complete WPS manuals titled “How to Comply with the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides: What Owners and Employers Need to Know” can be downloaded from the MSU PEP website or can be purchased from MSU Extension Distribution for $3. A manual for trainers titled: “National Worker Protection Standard: A Manual for Trainers of Agricultural Workers and Pesticide Handlers” is also available on the MSU PEP website.
Contact Amy Bowser, MSU Pesticide Education Technician (406-994-5178; [email protected]) regarding WPS questions or Cecil Tharp, MSU Pesticide Education Specialist (406-994-5067; [email protected]) with other pesticide education questions.