The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has updated itsAgricultural Worker Protection Standard to better protect the nation’s two million agricultural workers and their families from thousands of preventable pesticide exposure incidents reported each year.
Changes to the standard will reduce the risk of illness resulting from contact with pesticides on farms and in forests, nurseries and greenhouses.
The updated standard requires annual safety training for farmworkers, expands mandatory posting of no-entry signs for the most hazardous pesticides, and for the first time, sets a minimum age of 18 for those who work with pesticides.
In addition, the EPA’s updated standard for personal protective equipment is now consistent with OSHA’s respiratory protection standards.
This includes mandatory fit-testing, medical evaluation and training to ensure respirators are being used effectively.
Additionally, the updated standard establishes anti-retaliation provisions that are comparable with those enforced by OSHA.