On Nov. 2, 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its final revisions to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Western Growers submitted comments on proposed changes to the WPS in September 2014. Some of Western Growers’ concerns with the proposal were addressed in the final revisions. EPA states that the revisions to the WPS are intended to “enhance the protections provided to agricultural workers, pesticide handlers, and other persons under the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) by strengthening elements of the existing regulation, such as training, notification, pesticide safety and hazard communication information, use of personal protective equipment, and the providing of supplies for routine washing and emergency decontamination.”
There are a number of new obligations resulting from the rule described below, mostly related to record keeping and training. Many growers are already implementing record keeping and training similar to what is required by the standard.
EPA’s fact sheet is available here, and a comparison of the new standard to the existing standard is available here. EPA will be releasing additional information and guidance. Staff will provide more information as it becomes available, including resources for implementing procedures to meet new requirements.
For more information, contact Ben Sacher at (202) 296-0191.
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