The Worker Protection Standard is the federal law which must be complied with whenever pesticide products are used on agricultural establishments for the commercial or research production of agricultural plants. Persons who must comply with this regulation include owners or operators of agricultural establishments and owners or operators of commercial businesses that are hired to apply pesticides on agricultural establishments.
The Worker Protection Standard was created to provide agricultural workers and pesticide handlers in agriculture with protections against possible exposure and harm from pesticides in the workplace. Pesticide applicators fall into the category of pesticide handlers in this regulation.
Under the provisions of the Worker Protection Standard, agricultural employers are required to do the following:
In addition, agricultural employers:
Under the Worker Protection Standard, it is illegal for anyone other than a trained, properly equipped pesticide handler to be present at a site during a pesticide application. In addition, pesticide handlers must be routinely monitored while they are making applications in certain hazardous situations or using pesticides bearing a skull and crossbones on the label.
Employers must instruct all pesticide handlers in correct use of personal protective equipment and correct use of pesticide application equipment. And finally, they must provide the personal protective equipment listed on the pesticide label to all pesticide handlers and specially trained workers, called early-entry workers. In a few very limited situations, these early-entry workers may enter pesticide-treated areas before the restricted-entry interval has expired, but never during a pesticide application.
The Department of Pesticide Regulation is the regulatory agency in South Carolina responsible for enforcement of the Worker Protection Standard. For more information go to Department of Pesticide Regulation > >
How to Comply with the Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides: What Employers Need to Know - EPA 735-B-05-002, new as of September 2005.
WPS and Recent Amendments - links to complete Worker Protection Standard and recent amendments and exceptions.
EPA/OPP Pesticide Programs on Worker Safety - EPA Office of Pesticide Programs
EPA Worker Protection Standard Publications - Some are PDF documents, some are HTML and some are order only fro the The National Agriculture Compliance Assistance Center
EPA Ag Center Compliance Fact Sheets - Fact sheets on compliance with EPA agricultural programs, especially the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Easy-to-understand explanations of many compliance-related subjects. (Fact Sheets are HTML & PDF)
WPS Revisions - (PDF) A Summary of Revisions to the Workers Protection Standard, Pesticide Education Office, IFAS, Univ. of Florida.