Skip to content

New Worker Protection Standards Emphasize Safe Pesticide Handling Through New Training Requirements

June 13, 2017

On January 2, 2017, new Worker Protection Standards (WPS) took effect, modifying the training requirements for agricultural workers and handlers of pesticides. New standards require employers to train workers and pesticide handlers immediately, as the grace period for training has ended. New standards also require employers to train workers and handlers who work in “pesticide treated areas” (i.e., those areas where a Restricted Use Interval from a pesticide application has been in effect in the last 30 days) with Environmental Protection Agency approved training materials and limit who can legally perform such training. Handlers are no longer able to train workers on pesticide safety. Only someone with a private applicator license or commercial applicator license from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) can legally train workers or handlers on WPS. One can become a trainer by attending an MDARD train-the-trainer program, which can be scheduled by contacting MDARD’s pesticide section at 1-800-292-3939. Another important change brought about by the new WPS is that annual training is required rather than every five years.

Not all EPA-approved training materials have yet been released, as the WPS is not expected to be entirely implemented until January 2, 2018. In the meantime, workers and pesticide handlers must use new training material, if available. If new training material is not yet available, then workers and pesticide handlers are permitted to be trained with existing training materials until December 31, 2017. The Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) EPA approved training materials, videos and WPS handouts are available on the PERC website.

Sign up to be the first to access our leading legal insights.

The link you have selected will redirect you to a third-party website located on another server. We are offering the link for your convenience. Varnum has no responsibility for any external websites and makes no express or implied warranties about any external websites.

Please be aware that contacting us via e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm. Do not send confidential information to the firm until you have spoken with one of our attorneys and receive authorization to send such materials.