Worker Protection Standard - New Requirements
Changes to the USEPA Worker Protection Standard went into effect this past January, and one new item is that all pesticide handlers, including employees who work for ag retailers, must be trained on Worker Protection. Licensed commercial applicators are exempt from the annual WPS training, but licensed operators ARE NOT EXEMPT. This means that your spray operators have to have the WPS training, and you must use the USEPA approved WPS training program and train them prior to them handling or applying pesticides this spring.
Go to www.ifca.com; we have the USEPA approved slides posted that you must use to train handlers--no other training program is approved at this point. A licensed commercial applicator can give the training, but anyone else who wants to provide the training must first go through the USEPA Train the Trainer slides (also posted on the IFCA website). Document who conducted the training, their qualifications, who attended, the date they attended, that you used the USEPA approved WPS training slides, and have those persons trained print and sign their name that they completed the training. The IDA will be enforcing this rule although USEPA can check on you as well.
We know it seems foolish to have to train your licensed pesticide operators, and IFCA is looking into aligning with other concerned groups to request USEPA waive this requirement for persons who have taken and passed the General Standards exam. If you have questions about WPS please call IFCA.