Worker Protection Standard

The federal Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides (WPS) was implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1992.  Its goal is to ensure the health and safety of agricultural workers and pesticide handlers who work on agricultural establishments. Any plant that is grown for sale or consumption, is an agricultural crop and as such WPS applies when pesticides are used. This means worker/handler training, application notifications, Central Locations, WPS Safety posters, personal protective equipment (PPE), decontamination supplies, restricted entry intervals (REI), etc.

The types of establishments covered under WPS are very specific and include greenhouses and plant nurseries. Although most of the requirements of the WPS apply to all agricultural establishments equally, there are several special requirements for nurseries and greenhouses, due of the enclosed nature of the growing area. Pesticides designed for use in the production of agricultural plants are covered under the WPS. If a pesticide is covered under WPS, it will be stated on the label under the "Agricultural Use Requirements" section of the pesticide label. If a pesticide with WPS labeling is used on an agricultural establishment covered by the standard, WPS requirements must be implemented.

WPS requires workers and pesticide handlers to be trained in the hazards of and safe work practices for working with pesticides or pesticide-contaminated plants, soils, etc. Anyone who handles or assists with agricultural pesticides (mixes, loads, applies, cleans or repairs equipment, or performs other tasks involving direct contact with pesticides) must receiver WPS Handler training. Any full or part-time employee who does not fall into the 'Handler' category, but works in the treated area during the 30 day period after a restricted entry interval (REI) has expired must have WPS Training. The pesticide product label will specify the REI under the Agricultural Use Requirements section.

Please contact Sandra at 970-266-9573 or for additional information.