The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a regulation originally issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 and most recently revised in 2015. This regulation is primarily intended to reduce the risks of illness or injury to workers and handlers resulting from occupational exposures to pesticides used in the production of agricultural plants on agricultural establishments (i.e., farms, forests, nurseries and enclosed space production facilities, such as greenhouses). Workers are generally those who perform hand-labor tasks in pesticide-treated crops, such as harvesting, thinning, and pruning. Handlers are usually those that are in direct contact with pesticides such as mixing, loading or applying pesticides.
The WPS requires agricultural employers and commercial pesticide handler employers to provide specific information and protections to workers, handlers and other persons when WPS-labeled pesticide products are used on agricultural establishments in the production of agricultural plants. It also requires owners of agricultural establishments to provide certain protections for themselves and their immediate family, requires handlers to wear the labeling-specified clothing and personal protective equipment when performing handler activities, and to take measures to protect workers and other persons during pesticide applications.
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