Beginning Jan. 2, 2017, the Federal Worker Protection Standards (WPS) revisions took effect. These changes are designed to provide stronger protections for the nation’s two million agricultural workers and their families. Growers will be responsible for taking additional steps when applying pesticides, providing worker and applicator training, new record-keeping requirements, respirator testing and numerous other items. These changes impact all growers’ operations, large and small.
The Worker Protection Standards protect agricultural workers and pesticide handlers by reducing the risks of injury or illness resulting from contact with pesticides on farms, nurseries and greenhouses. Worker Protection Standards requirements are intended to inform workers and handlers about pesticide safety, provide protections from potential exposure to pesticides, and mitigate exposures that do occur.