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Did you know about the EPA’s Worker Protection Standard Compliance Monitoring Program?
The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a regulation issued by EPA under the authority of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to protect agricultural workers from the effects of exposure to pesticides. It covers pesticides that are used in the production of agricultural plants on farms, forests, nurseries, and enclosed spaces. The WPS offers protections to over two million agricultural workers (people involved in the production of agricultural plants) and pesticide handlers (people who mix, load, or apply pesticides) that work at over 600,000 agricultural establishments. The scope of the regulation includes both workers performing hand labor tasks in areas treated with pesticides and those who handle (mix, load, apply, etc.) pesticides in these locations.
When and Where Inspections are Conducted and What They Examine
EPA staff, states and tribes conduct, routine WPS agricultural-use inspections at agricultural and commercial handling establishments like farms, nurseries, enclosed spaces, and forests to ensure users of pesticides subject to the WPS comply with its requirements.
The inspections involve examining practices of agricultural and handler employers and their employees to assess compliance with:
- product-specific use requirements and restrictions prescribed on pesticide product labeling, such as:
- personal protective equipment (PPE),
- restricted entry intervals (REIs), and
- oral and posted notification requirements; and
- generic WPS requirements, such as:
- worker/handler pesticides safety training,
- pesticide safety information,
- decontamination supplies, and
- emergency assistance.