What is WPS?
In 1992, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued rules governing the protection of employees on farms, or in forests, nurseries and greenhouses from occupational exposure to agricultural pesticides. The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) covers:
- agricultural workers—performing tasks related to the cultivation and harvesting of plants on farms or in greenhouses, nurseries, or forests
- pesticide handlers—assigned to mix, load or apply agricultural pesticides; clean or repair equipment; act as flaggers, etc.
Employers are responsible for making sure that workers and handlers receive the protections required by the pesticide labeling and the WPS. There are two types of employers:
- agricultural employers—employ or contract for the services of workers or own/operate an establishment that employs workers
- handler employers—hire pesticide handlers or are self-employed as handlers. This definition includes commercial applicators and companies which supply crop advisory services on agricultural establishments
This site explains many of the employer requirements under the WPS. A general overview of the regulation is summarized in the brochure - WPS-Duties of Employers (pdf)
Whether or not you employ workers and handlers, at a minimum, all applicators of agricultural pesticides are required to comply with personal protective equipment and restricted entry statements on the pesticide labels!
What is WPS?| Duties of both worker and handler employers | Additional duties of worker employers | Additional duties of handler employers | The WPS inspection | WPS Links