The Application Exclusion Zone (AEZ) is an addition to the updated 2015 Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Its intent is to protect agricultural workers and bystanders from potential exposure to pesticides from nearby applications. The AEZ is the area surrounding a pesticide applicator and the application equipment on an agricultural establishment that workers and other people are not allowed to enter. AEZ requirements only apply during an application and may extend beyond property lines.

Effective Dates

January 2, 2017Agricultural employers must ensure that people do not enter or stay in the AEZ within establishment boundaries.

January 2, 2018Handlers must suspend applications when people are in the AEZ, on or off the establishment.

Distance Requirements

Depending on application type, the size of the AEZ can range from 0 to 100 feet in all directions around the application equipment. Reference the table below for detailed guidance.

Cat.Application TypeSpray HeightDistance Requirement
  • Aerial
  • Fumigant, smoke, mist or fog
  • Air blast
  • Spray with extra fine, very fine or fine droplets
Any At least 100 feet in all directions
  • Applications NOT listed in row 1
  • Spray with medium droplets (or larger)
Greater than 12 inches At least 25 feet in all directions
3 Any other application type not described in rows 1 and 2 – – No AEZ required

Keeping Unprotected People Out of the AEZ

Employers must keep workers and other persons out of the AEZ and treated areas during pesticide applications. Employers can do this by complying with the notification requirements, which will ensure workers know of all applications-in-progress, and entry restrictions that apply to their activities. In addition, employers should schedule worker tasks to ensure they are well away from pesticide applications, and ensure good communication between the supervisors of applicators and the supervisors of workers.

Suspending a Pesticide Application

Applicators must suspend any application if anyone enters the AEZ, other than a trained and equipped handler(s) involved with the application.

  • Applicators may only resume an application if they can ensure the pesticide will not contact anyone, on or off the establishment, directly or through drift.
  • Within the boundary of the establishment, the application cannot resume until all everyone is out of the AEZ except trained, equipped handlers involved in the application.

Learn more:

Application Exclusion Zone Guide

Application Exclusion Zone Infographic

Application Exclusion Zone Animation

Application Exclusion Zone Video