What are my responsibilities as a pesticide handler?

For Handlers

Follow the Label

Pesticide labels have requirements for using, storing, and disposing of pesticides and their containers. It is your responsibility to follow those directions. You must use the work clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) that are required by the pesticide label. The employer must provide and maintain the PPE (except for pants, shirts, shoes and socks), but the handler is required to wear it.

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Protect Others

When applying pesticides, you and your employer must ensure that no pesticide residue comes in contact with anyone, either directly or through drift, unless the person is appropriately trained and equipped and involved in the application.

The establishment owner/operator must make sure that their employees stay away from pesticide application equipment while pesticides are being used. The distance is 100 feet for air-blast sprayers and aerial applications. The "Application Exclusion Zone" varies depending on the type of application.

When the application equipment comes close to the boundaries of the agricultural establishment, it is your responsibility to suspend the application if people come too close to the application equipment. Remember, the distance varies depending on the type of application. You can resume the application when you can ensure that they won't be contacted by the spray.

Protect Yourself

Learn all you can from the training materials and safety poster.

  • Prevent unnecessary exposure to pesticides.
  • Recognize the symptoms of pesticide poisoning.
  • Avoid taking pesticide residues home with you.
  • Children and pregnant women are especially sensitive to the effects of pesticides.

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Learn more:

What are my employer's responsibilities under the WPS?

WPS Respiratory Protection Guide

Regulatory Guidance

Browse brief guides about protections for workers and handlers, the AEZ, posting, PPE, exemptions, training, respirators, and more, in English and Spanish.

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