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Who is protected by the Worker Protection Standards?

The WPS protects employees on farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses from occupational exposure to agricultural pesticides and covers two types of employees:

  • Pesticide handlers: those who:
    • mix, load or apply agricultural pesticides;
    • clean or repair pesticide application equipment; or
    • assist with the application of pesticides.
  • Agricultural workers: those who perform tasks related to growing and harvesting plants on farms or in greenhouses, nurseries or forests.
  • Workers include anyone employed for any type of compensation (including self-employed) doing tasks such as:
    • carrying nursery stock;
    • repotting plants;
    • watering; or
    • other tasks directly related to the production of agricultural plants on an agricultural establishment.
  • Workers do NOT include employees such as:
    • office employees;
    • truck drivers;
    • mechanic; and
    • any other workers not engaged in worker/handler activities.

Some requirements apply to anyone doing certain tasks, such as handling pesticide application equipment or cleaning or laundering pesticide-contaminated personal protective equipment.

WPS Training Resources

2015 Revised WPS Compliance Timeline

Date Compliance
January 2, 2016 Revised WPS final rule is effective. Compliance of existing WPS rules (Subparts A, B and C of 40 CFR Part 170) is required.
January 2, 2017 Compliance is required with MOST of the revised WPS regulation (Subparts D, E, F and G of 40 CFR Part 170)
January 2, 2018 Compliance is required with ALL of the revised WPS requirements (Subparts D, E, F and G of 40 CFR Part 170)
Including new content on pesticide safety information display (170.311(a)(3))
Covering new content in worker and handler training (170.401(c)(3) and 170.501(c)(3))
Suspension of applications by handlers if anyone is in the application exclusion zone (170.505(b))

Pesticide Poisoning Information

For information on how to handle a pesticide poisoning, call the National Pesticide Information Center at 800-858-7378 (toll-free to any caller in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands).

Some symptoms of pesticide poisoning can be mistaken for symptoms of other illnesses, such as the flu. When pesticide handlers become ill from working with organophosphate or carbamate insecticides in warm and hot environments, it is sometimes hard to tell whether the person is suffering from heat exhaustion or pesticide poisoning. The table below compares the symptoms.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion vs Pesticide Poisoning

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion Symptoms of Organophosphate/Carbamate (Pesticide) Poisoning
Sweating Sweating
Headache Headache
Fatigue Fatigue
Dry membranes Moist membranes
Dry mouth Salivation
No tears Tears
No spit present Spit present in mouth
Fast pulse (slow if person has fainted) Slow pulse
Nausea Nausea and diarrhea
Dilated pupils Possibly small pupils
Central nervous system depression Central nervous system depression
Loss of coordination Loss of coordination
Confusion Confusion
Fainting (prompt recovery) Coma (can't waken)

 

For additional information about WPS or compliance assistance, please contact your local field office.

Pesticide Program News

House Bill 126 Increases Fees for Pesticide Program Licenses and Products

New fees are effective now

House Bill 126  Increases Fees for Pesticide Program Licenses and Products

The Governor has signed HB 126 which includes fee increases for pesticide program licenses and products, effective now. The department has begun to implement the fee changes and will continue to do so over the next several days.

MDA & USDA remind Montanans of Dangers of Invasive Pests

April is Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month

MDA & USDA remind Montanans of Dangers of Invasive Pests

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are reminding Montanans about the dangers of invasive pests during the month of April, which has been designated as “Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month.” Each year, harmful invasive plant pests and diseases cost the United States about $40 billion in crop losses, damage to forests and vulnerable ecosystems, and expensive eradication and control efforts.

Linda Johns
Pesticide Licensing, Registration, & Training Program Manager

Phone : (406) 444-3736
E-mail : LJohns@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9493 302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Jolene Warnke-Roszel
Training/Development Specialist

Phone : (406) 444-3732
E-mail : JWarnke-roszel@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9493 302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

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Pesticide Worker Protection Standards Forms & Files

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