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Farm Worker Applying Pesticides

With all the changes to the Worker Protection Standards (WPS), the Alabama Pesticide Safety Education Program put together the following information to help people begin to navigate and understand what will be taking place. The rule revisions are currently being enforced by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

Who needs the WPS training?

Any employee that sprays pesticides or work in areas treated with pesticides in the last 30 days needs WPS training. There are not grace periods for employees, and training is required annually.

What is WPS training?

The Worker Protection Standard is a regulation the EPA has in place to protect agricultural workers. The EPA website defines those covered by WPS as

  • 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.

What are some of the things WPS training covers?

Some of the requirements that are covered include proper personal protective equipment (PPE), access to labels, safety, health and injury training, re-entry intervals, and more.

Where can I get trained or become a trainer?

If you are a worker or handler, contact your employer for training. Employers are required to train workers and handlers and provide personal protective equipment and other safety requirements.

For employers, contact your county Extension office for training opportunities. If you have a private or commercial applicators permit, you are certified to train your handlers and workers. For material related to training, visit www.pesticideresources.org or purchase a WPS bucket that contains, guides, manuals, videos, PPE, and other materials needed to conduct WPS trainings. For any questions, contact the Alabama Pesticide Safety Education Program at 334-844-8832.

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