Ohio State University Extension http://agsafety.osu.edu

Agricultural Safety and Health Program

Ohio State University Extension

Pesticide Safety and EPA Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

Pesticide Handling Requirements

OSU employees who apply pesticides as part of their job are required to either, obtain a Commercial Applicator License through appropriate training and testing, or work under the supervision of a Licensed Applicator as a Trained Service Person.

Commercial Applicator License Training is available, for a fee, through the Ohio Pesticide Safety Education Program which is part of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Online Lessons are also available to help prepare for the certification training and exam.

Trained Service Person Training can be obtained by reading the Trained Service Person Manual (OSU Bulletin 863) or by receiving equivalent training from his/her supervisor.

EPA Worker Protection Standard

The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a federal regulation issued by U.S. EPA. Protecting workers from potential adverse effects of pesticides is an important function of EPA's Pesticide Program. Workers in a number of occupations may be exposed to pesticides when they:

  • Prepare pesticides for use, such as by mixing a concentrated pesticide with water or when loading the pesticide into application equipment.
  • Apply pesticides, such as in an agricultural or industrial setting. 
  • Enter an area where pesticides have been applied to perform tasks, such as picking crops.

The WPS applies to growers who own or manage a farm, forest, nursery, or greenhouse where pesticides are used in production of agriculture plants and have one or more of these situation:

  1. Hire or contract for services of agricultural workers who receive compensation and do tasks such as harvesting, weeding, or watering.
  2. Operate a business or farm where pesticides are applied by handlers who receive compensation and do tasks related to mixing, loading, transferring, or applying pesticides.
  3. Operate a business where crop advisor tasks are performed.