General Safety - Hazards and PPE | Washington DOEE Approval #0003QD

Instructors: Gene Merkl, Nelson Gelinas

Chapter Description – Pesticide Formulations

A pesticide formulation is a combination of active and inert ingredients that form an end-use pesticide product. Pesticides are formulated to make them safer or easier to use. There are many formulations available for various pest control sites and situations, and it is important that applicators choose the best one for the job.

After completing this chapter participants will be able to:

  • Explain why pesticides are formulated for end use.
  • List the factors to consider when choosing a formulation for a specific site or situation.
  • Discuss the properties of common formulations.

Chapter Description – Pesticide Hazards and First Aid

Pesticides are designed to be toxic to living organisms so they can control pests (e.g., plants, insects, rodents,
fungi, and bacteria). At the same time, pesticides must be used with special care to avoid harming nontarget organisms, including pesticide applicators, handlers, and anyone else exposed to the product. Pesticides can have both short-term
and long-term effects on humans. As a result, pesticide users need to be concerned with the hazards associated
with exposure to the chemical and not exclusively with the toxicity of the pesticide.

After completing this chapter participants will be able to:

  • Identify common exposure routes for various pesticides and application methods.
  • Discuss the appropriate first aid response to oral, ocular, dermal, and inhalation exposures to pesticides.
  • Explain the hazard level classification system for pesticides, including the corresponding signal words.

Chapter Description – Personal Protective Equipment and Emergency Response

PPE comprises the clothing and devices you wear to protect your body from contact with pesticides. Wearing PPE can reduce exposure (dermal, inhalation, ocular, or oral) and thereby lower the chances of pesticide injury, illness, or poisoning. It is important that all pesticide applicators and handlers understand the protections and limitations of PPE. Proper PPE selection, use, and care are essential.

Although pesticide accidents and emergencies are rare, they do occur. Pesticides spilled on the ground or burning in a fire can contaminate water, soil, and air; damage plants; injure livestock, wildlife, or pets; and endanger the health of the applicator and emergency responders. Pesticide spills and fires may lead to financial loss due to cleanup, liability claims, and fines assessed by government agencies. Do all that you can to prevent accidents, but be prepared in case of an emergency.

After completing this chapter participants will be able to:

  • Identify where on the label to find the minimum clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) required to handle a given pesticide product.
  • State the criteria to properly select skin, eye, and respiratory protection required by the pesticide label based upon your expected use and exposure.
  • Discuss how pesticide releases from spills and fires can endanger humans and the environment.
  • Explain how to execute an emergency response plan.

Chapter Description – Respiratory Protection

Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, and sprays. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases, or death. Some pesticide labels require the use of a respirator as part of the personal protective equipment. This course outlines the types of respirators available, proper fit, and inspection/maintenance requirements.

After completing this chapter participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the different types of respirators and when to use each type.
  • Describe the steps of a successful fit test.
  • Outline the necessary care and maintenance required for each type of respirator.