This guide addresses training requirements for both agricultural employers and commercial pesticide handler employers (CPHE) under the 2015 revised Worker Protection Standard (WPS).
Who needs to be trained?
Agricultural workers and pesticide handlers need WPS training annually if they will be working in treated areas on an agricultural establishment, and their activities are directly related to agricultural production. This applies to areas where a WPS-labeled pesticide has been used on an agricultural establishment within the last 30 days, or a restricted-entry interval (REI) has been in effect. Currently certified pesticide applicators and certified crop advisors are exempt from WPS worker and handler training. Any worker who has been trained as a handler does not need to receive worker training.
Is WPS training needed? What employers need to know
Does the WPS apply to my operation?
Family Exemption to the Worker Protection Standard
Who can perform the training?
- Someone who holds a current pesticide applicator's license (in any category)
- Someone who has completed an EPA-approved WPS Train-the-Trainer program for workers (if training workers) or for handlers (if training handlers)
- Someone who has been designated as a trainer of certified pesticide applicators or handlers by a state, federal, or tribal agency having jurisdiction
What are my responsibilities under the WPS, as a trainer of workers?
What are my responsibilities under the WPS, as a trainer of handlers?
When should the training take place?
Agricultural workers and pesticide handlers must be trained before they begin worker/handler tasks in treated areas. The training must be delivered every 12 months (annually), counting from the end of the month in which the previous training was completed.
How should the training be delivered?
- Present the training verbally from written materials or audio-visually.
- Present the information in a manner that the trainees can understand, using a translator if necessary.
- Be present at all times during the training and respond to trainees' questions.
- Provide a training environment that is reasonably free of distractions, and conducive to learning.
- Use EPA-approved training materials.
Which training materials can be used?
WPS training materials that have been approved by EPA will bear an EPA approval number and an EPA statement of approval for use in WPS training. This approval number or publication number must be recorded on the training record.
- Materials approved for training workers: EPA approval W PST 00001
- Materials approved for training workers and handlers: EPA approval W/H PST 00001
- Materials approved for training trainers of workers: EPA approval TTT W PST 00001
- Materials approved for training trainers of workers/handlers: EPA approval TTT W/H PST 00001
(TTT = Train-the-Trainer)
There are EPA-approved videos and presentations, in English and Spanish. Browse for what you need here.
What are the recordkeeping requirements?
Agricultural employers must keep training records for two years, for every worker/handler that performs applicable tasks on the agricultural establishment. Commercial pesticide handler employers must keep training records for two years for each handler they employ.
The training record must include:
- the trainee's printed name and signature,
- the date of training,
- the trainer's name,
- evidence of the trainer's qualification to train,
- pesticide applicator's license number, or
- EPA approval number for a Train-the-Trainer course, and the date it was completed by the trainer, or
- evidence of state/tribal designation as a WPS trainer
- the employer's name, and
- EPA approval number for the training materials.
If a worker or handler asks for a copy of his or her WPS training record, it must be provided in writing. There is no standard form or training card available from the EPA. Ask your state if there is an official training record/template available in your state.
What are the training topics?
The new WPS added training topics about the risk of pesticide exposure to children and pregnant women. Trained workers and handlers will know more about how to avoid bringing pesticide residues home with them, and how to build a routine that reduces their own exposures.
After the new law goes into effect: