Worker Protection Standard Inspections

No producer relishes the thought of having a Worker Protection Standard Inspection. But it's the law and all producers that apply pesticides and have employees must comply with that law and pass inspection. I recently talked with Mike Pikus from the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services about inspections and how nursery and greenhouses fared during those inspections. He said they fared well, but he cautioned that he wished most operators read pesticide labels more closely. In specific he was talking about the personal protective equipment (PPE) that mixers/loaders, applicators, and workers that enter the treated area during the restricted entry interval (REI) must wear to comply with the label and the law. He said this is where some operator's err. Especially people that enter an area that has been sprayed or workers pulling plants for shipping before the REI is over. The label states what PPE must be worn if someone needs to enter the treated area before the REI has elapsed. I asked if there was a common place that throughout his inspections he commonly found problems with. He said generally there was not a commonly missed area during inspections. I also suggested that maybe we post the checklist that he goes through in order to conduct an inspection. He agreed that it would be a good idea and said that if an operator that falls under the WPS and can answer the affirmative in all those questions there shouldn't be a problem during an inspection. If you would like to look at a link to the inspection checklist here is the site. You can find it here and the publications page of my extension website.

Also keep watching this page for future trainings and workshops on Train the Trainer and the WPS how to comply. Also, don't forget to check out the mini-FARMS grant program in a previous article on this site for help with getting money to build structures that protect the aquifer such as pesticide mix stations or storage facilities.

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