Worker Protection Standard
What is the Worker Protection Standard?
The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is an EPA regulation designed to protect agricultural workers. The WPS contains specific requirements for protective equipment, restricted-entry times following pesticide applications, safety training and other elements to prevent poisoning and injury from pesticides among agricultural workers.
Who is protected by the Worker Protection Standard?
If you are a Pesticide Handler or Agricultural Worker on a farm, or if you work in a forest, nursery, or greenhouse that produces agricultural plants, then you are protected under the Worker Protection Standard. Below are some tips and resources to help you comply with the rules and stay safe on the job.
WPS tips for employers and employees:
- Always read and follow the label directions carefully.
- Pesticide product labels include specific instructions for protecting workers. Look for the "Agricultural Use Requirements" under "Directions for Use."
- Some labels will require that you wait a certain amount of time after you apply a pesticide before re-entering the area. Check for a Restricted Entry Interval (REI).
- Employers are required to provide their employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) that is appropriate for the job. Make sure you inspect your PPE every time you use it for leaks or tears.
- For many applications, there must be a central location where pesticide and emergency information is posted, including the active ingredient, when it was applied, REI, and emergency contact information.
- In most cases, the employer is required to post signs at the entrances to the treated area warning people not to enter during the REI.
- Pesticides can pose risks even after they are applied. In many cases, supplies such as soap, water and paper towels must be available for several days after a pesticide application.
- Training is required for all workers and handlers and a safety poster must be supplied.
- To report a concern at your workplace or for state-specific requirements, contact your local state office.
If you have questions about the Worker Protection Standard, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (7:30am-3:30pm PST), or email us at email@example.com.
- Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- How To Comply With the Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides: What Employers Need To Know - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Agriculture Center Fact Sheets on Compliance Issues - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Worker Protection Standard: Information for Pesticide Handlers - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Available Publications: Worker Protection Standard - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Worker Protection Standard: Information for Farm Workers - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Worker Protection Standard (WPS) - Iowa State University
- Worker Protection Standard: Information at a Central Location - University of Florida
- Pesticide Handlers and the Worker Protection Standard (video) - Nevada Agriculture
- Worker Protection Standard Resources - North Dakota State University Agriculture and University Extension
- How to Comply with the WPS - Colorado State University