Worker Protection Standard Info Center

The EPA is in the process of updating the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). First established in 1974, the WPS was created to protect those that work with pesticides and run the risk of pesticide poisoning. The last revision was completed in 1992. The new proposed standard is expected to be finalized in 2015. GEMPLER'S is your source for WPS resources. Read on for more information on the proposed updates, and keep checking back as we will update the information and add new compliance materials as needed.

GEMPLER'S® Basic Pesticide Mixer/Applicator Safety Kit
 

What is Changing?
Pesticide Safety Training
Mandatory Posting of No Entry Signs
Minimum Age Requirements
No Entry Buffer Areas
Personal Protective Equipment Requirements
Hazard Communication
Notification for Early Entry Workers
Definitions

 
 
Pesticide Safety Training
Current Proposed
  • Train workers and handlers every 5 years

  • No training provided on reducing take-home exposure

  • 5-day grace period for providing WPS training

  • Recordkeeping of training not required

  • Train workers and handlers every year

  • Expand training to include information on reducing take-home exposure

  • Reduce grace period to 2 days

  • Require recordkeeping of training for 2 years

 
Mandatory Posting of No Entry Signs
Current Proposed

Either oral or posted notification is acceptable for Restricted Entry Intervals (REI) of any length, unless pesticide labeling requires both.

Require posting of treated areas when REI is greater than 48 hours.

 
Minimum Age Requirements
Current Proposed
  • No minimum age for pesticide handlers and early-entry workers

  • No minimum age requirement for members of owner's immediate family

  • Require pesticide handlers and early-entry workers to be 16 years old

  • Members of owner's immediate family are exempt from this WPS requirement

 
No Entry Buffer Areas
Current Proposed

Only applies in nurseries and greenhouses.

Prohibit entry into 25-100 foot buffer areas around a field during pesticide application on farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses to protect from overspray. Buffer area will depend on type of application.

 
Personal Protective Equipment Requirements
Current Proposed

Employer must provide the respirator listed on the pesticide label and ensure that it fits. Recordkeeping is not required.

  • Adopt OSHA standard for respirators

  • Fit testing, medical evaluations and training for respirators would now be required. Recordkeeping to document completion of these requirements

 
Hazard Communication
Current Proposed

No requirement to make safety information available to workers, handlers, authorized representatives, such as application-specific information, labeling and safety data sheets (SDS).

Require this information to be made available to all parties and retain information for 2 years.

 
Notification for Early Entry Workers
Current Proposed

Early-entry workers must be informed only of the hazards written on pesticide labels.

Early-entry for workers in rare circumstances. In these situations, there must be notification of the pesticide application, specific task performed, amount of time worker is allowed to remain in area, along with pesticide labeling information.

 
Definitions
Current Proposed

Definition of a family farm does not include family members, such as grandparents, grandchildren and in-laws.

Expand definition of "immediate family" to more accurately reflect farm families that qualify for the exemption from most WPS requirements.

 
Timeline
Milestone Estimated Completion Date

90-day Comment Period on Proposed Changes*

August 18, 2014

New standard proposed

Summer 2015

Finalized standard issued

90 days after proposal

Implementation

1+ years after standard is finalized

 
Questions? Contact GEMPLER'S Product Support at 1-800-874-4755.

*Click here for information on how to submit your comments to the EPA