Montana Department of Agriculture logo

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

2018 Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Hearings

March 5, 2018 - March 9, 2018 in Helena

2018 Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Hearings

The Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council will hold the 2018 Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Hearings March 5 to March 9 at the Wingate of Helena, 2007 N Oakes. 

Click here for more information on the Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Program, and click here for a full agenda for the 2018 hearings.

MDA Accepting Petitions for New Noxious Weed Listings

MDA Accepting Petitions for New Noxious Weed Listings

Helena, Mont. - The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting petitions for new plants to be added to the Montana Noxious Weed List. Interested parties who feel that a plant should be listed as a noxious weed in Montana can fill out a petition form (found at and send it to Dave Burch at

Linda Johns
Pesticide Licensing, Registration, & Training Program Manager

Phone : (406) 444-3676
E-mail :
Fax : (406) 444-9493
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601


Jolene Warnke-Roszel
Training/Development Specialist

Phone : (406) 444-3732
E-mail :
Fax : (406) 444-9493
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

Stay connected with us on Facebook. Up-to-date-information will be shared about training sessions and more.


Pesticide Worker Protection Standards Forms & Files

    This folder is empty