October 6, 2015

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EPA has rolled out a final rule revising the 1992 Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS).  As we explained in our blog post about the draft rule in February 2014, the WPS protects the nation’s 2 million farm workers from risks that accompany the use of pesticides.

Changes in the final rule include annual mandatory training for workers, a new minimum-age requirement restricting children under age 18 from handling pesticides, expanded requirements for posting no-entry signs on fields where the most hazardous pesticides have recently been applied, and exclusion zones surrounding pesticide application equipment to protect workers from the risks of overspray. Exemptions in the current rule for farm owners and their immediate family will continue under the new rule, which also includes an expanded definition of “immediate family”. The rule also does not cover persons working with livestock.

The comparison chart linked here shows the changes between the new and old rules.

Learn more on EPA’s website, where you can watch videos and listen to audio content about the new WPS.