Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

Agricultural Employees (Field and Greenhouse) and the Worker Protection Standard

Worker Protection Standard (WPS) training is required by an EPA regulation. The training is designed to protect agricultural workers and pesticide handlers from the risks of exposure to pesticide residues. An agricultural worker is anyone who does tasks, such as harvesting, weeding, or watering, related to the production of agricultural plants on farms, forests, nurseries, and in greenhouses. A pesticide handler is anyone who does tasks such as mixing, loading, transferring or applying pesticides, handling open pesticide containers, acting as a flagger or crop advisor, assisting with a pesticide application, cleaning or repairing application equipment, etc.

All College employees, including students, and students who handle agricultural plant materials as part of a research project must attend a training session 1) if those plant materials are treated with any type of pesticide, and 2) if the work with the plant material occurs within 30 days of the expiration of the restricted entry interval for the pesticide. Handlers and early-entry workers must attend WPS before doing any handler or early-entry task. All workers must attend WPS training before beginning to work with pesticide-treated materials. Certified pesticide applicators do not need to attend. Every training session is valid for either field or greenhouse work.

An EPA Identification Card is issued for full-session attendance. This card should be presented to the manager of the appropriate facility so that the trainee's name can be added to the facility roster of trained persons. The cards are valid in any field or greenhouse in the United States for one year. Anyone who attended more than one year ago and who continues to work with pesticide-treated plants must attend training again.

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