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EPA Worker Protection Standard Update

May 9, 2018

wps

Written by: Sandra Menasha and Alice Wise

Originally published: Long Island Fruit and Vegetable Update, April 19th, 2018

The updated Worker Protection Standard took effect on January 2, 2017. The NYS DEC has the right to conduct inspections to certify that growers are in compliance with regulations for agricultural pesticides including organics. Inspections include WPS, record keeping, and pesticide storage. The website http://www.pesticideresources.... has WPS information, the How to Comply Manual, Worker and Handler Training Videos (English and Spanish), the new WPS Safety Poster and useful WPS checklists. Alternatively, contact the Department of Environmental Conservation or your local Cooperative Extension office with questions.

This is a basic WPS checklist. We highly recommend checking the relevant section in the WPS How to Comply Manual as there are many additional details.

1. All workers and handlers must receive annual training. Workers must be trained before they work in an area where a pesticide has been used or a restricted-entry interval (REI) has been in effect in the past 30 days. Handlers must be trained before performing any handler task.

2. Training of workers and handlers can only be conducted by a certified pesticide applicator, State/Tribal/Federal approved trainers, or a person who has completed an EPA approved train-the-trainer course.

3. Effective January 2018, training videos need to include the new content under the revised WPS. Videos (English and Spanish) can be found at www.pesticideresources.org. Keep records of all trainings for 2 years.

4. Check your central posting area and make sure it is easily seen, accessible and the information posted is legible. The central posting area must have safety information (e.g. revised WPS safety poster), pesticide application information and pesticide Safety Data Sheets (SDS). Under the revised WPS, there is a new safety poster with updated safety information. Updated safety posters can be downloaded and ordered at www.pesticideresources.org or ordered from Ag supply companies such as Gemplers.

5. Information required at the central posting location should also be displayed at permanent decontamination supply sites or at locations with 11 or more workers.

6. Pesticide application information and pesticide Safety Data Sheets (SDS) must be displayed at the central posting location within 24 hours of the end of the application and before workers enter the treated area. Display both for 30 days after the REI expires and keep on file for 2 years from the end of REI. SDS can be obtained from your pesticide supplier or from http://www.cdms.net/Label-Database.

7. Pesticide Application information for WPS at the central posting area must include:

  • crop treated, location and description of treated area(s),
  • product name, EPA registration no., active ingredient(s),
  • date and time pesticide application started and ended,
  • and the restricted-entry interval (REI).

8. A farm map is suggested for the central posting area so that workers can easily ID the location of all farm fields. Some growers use names (Main Road Chardonnay), some use numbers or letters (Field 2). The point being that if a DEC inspection occurs, your workers understand and are able to communicate the location of the applications and a farm map makes this easier.

9. Check decontamination kits and upgrade as necessary:

  • coveralls, soap and a stack of single use towels
  • provide at least 1 gallon per worker using the site or 3 gallons for each pesticide handler and each early entry worker.
  • one pint of water (eyewash) must be available to each handler applying pesticides if eye protection is required on the label. For tractor applications, the emergency eyewash water (1 pint) must be carried on the tractor. However, if the applicator gets off the tractor, the eyewash must be carried on their person. At mixing and loading sites, a system capable of delivering 0.4 gallons/minute for 15 minutes or 6 gallons of water to flow gently for 15 minutes must be provided for handlers using products requiring eye protection.
  • check expiration date on eye flushing.
  • decontamination kits must be within ¼ mile of all workers. Portable kits might be a better option for growers with a large operation.
  • make sure all your handlers and workers know where the decontamination sites are and what they contain.

10. The need for eye protection will be listed on the pesticide label in the box entitled "Agricultural Use Requirements", in the section listing PPE (personal protective equipment).

11. Refer to the "Agricultural Use Requirements" box on the pesticide label for a list of all required PPE. Make sure PPE is adequately stocked - chemical resistant suits, gloves, aprons, protective eyewear, boots, respirators and cartridges. Check unopened respirator cartridges for an expiration date.

12. Where respirators are required on the pesticide label, handlers must be medically cleared to wear a respirator, receive annual respirator fit-testing and training. Records of completion of respirator fit-test, training and medical clearance must be kept for 2 years. Note: Owners of the agricultural establishment and family members are not exempt from the respirator requirements under WPS.

  • respirators should be cleaned after each use and stored to protect them from damage, contamination and dust
  • opened cartridges should be stored in a re-sealable plastic bag when not in use.
13. Application Exclusion Zones (AEZ): There are several different requirements regarding the AEZ in the revised WPS. The size of an AEZ varies depending on the type of application and other factors, including droplet size, and height of nozzles above the planting medium. Refer to the How to Comply Manual to determine AEZ size.
  • Effective January 2, 2017, agricultural employers are to not allow any workers or other persons in the AEZ within the boundaries of the establishment un􀆟l the application is complete.
  • Effective January 2, 2018, handlers are to suspend the application if any workers or other persons are anywhere in the AEZ. This requirement is NOT limited to the boundaries of the establishment. This applies to any area on or off the establishment within the AEZ while the application is ongoing.

14. Start accumulating copies of pesticide labels. All applicators must have a copy of the label immediately accessible. Some growers deal with individual labels, some put together a notebook to be carried on the tractor. Having a copy of pesticide label on your smart phone is not acceptable.

15. When making an application, the applicator must have the following items immediately accessible:
  • a. Applicator's license
  • b. Labels for all materials being applied.
  • c. Appropriate PPE (see individual labels for what is required)

16. Tidy up your pesticide storage area. A disorganized, messy storage area is a red flag to an inspector. Pesticide storage guidelines can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/8871.html. 



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Beets

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Blueberries

Broccoli

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Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

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Carrots

Carrots

Cauliflower

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Cherries

Cherries

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Dry Beans

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Eggplant

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Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Grapes

Grapes

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Nectarines

Nectarines

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Plums

Plums

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Strawberries

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Sweet Corn

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Sweet Potatoes

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Tomatoes

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Upcoming Events

October Last Monday Grant Webinar for Fruit and Vegetable Growers

October 28, 2019
4:00 pm

Are you curious about what grants are available to help your farm business?

To help disseminate information on grants on a consistent basis, ENYCH is offering a "current grants" webinar on the last Monday of every month at 4:00pm

Each month's webinar focuses on 1 grant.  The October webinar topic is TBD but might feature Ag Labor Housing Grants.
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Produce Safety Alliance FSMA Grower Training Course

October 30, 2019
8am - 5pm
Canajoharie, NY

A grower training course developed by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) that meets the regulatory requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.  At least one person per farm producing more than $25,000 worth of fruits and vegetables must attend this course once.  Participants will receive a certificate of course completion by the Association of Food and Drug Officials. 

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Tarping for Reduced Tillage Workshop

November 2 - November 19, 2019

Are you a vegetable farmer already using tarps? Or are you wondering if and how tarps could work best on your farm?

The Cornell Small Farms Program is excited to announce a series of workshops on tarping for reduced tillage in small-scale vegetable systems, to be held in Maine and New York this fall. The Reduced Tillage (RT) project of the Cornell Small Farms Program supports farmers in adopting scale-appropriate RT practices that can lead to healthy, productive soils and greater profitability. Through the evaluation of novel tools and methods using systems-based field research and on-farm trials, the project helps farmers learn about the approaches that can work for their farm. This work is accomplished in collaboration with the University of Maine, and with support from Northeast SARE.

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Announcements

Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

Climate Change Adaptations

September 30, 2019
In this episode regional vegetable specialist Elisabeth Hodgdon interviews University of Vermont PHD student Alissa White about a series of interviews with growers in the north east concerning climate change adaptations.

Listeners can access Alissa White’s climate change adaptation survey report and additional information on the project by clicking on the following link:

https://adaptationsurvey.wordpress.com/results/
Alissa’s project was sponsored by a Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grant (GNE17-163).

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