AMES, Iowa--A federal regulation called the Worker Protection Standard is designed to protect employees on farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses from occupational exposures to agricultural pesticides. WPS requires owners or managers of an agricultural establishment to provide employees with pesticide safety training and safety posters in addition to having protective actions and equipment, and safety practices in place.
In Iowa, the regulation is enforced by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The Pest Management and the Environment Program at Iowa State University provides training materials in partnership with IDALS. New WPS training materials are now available online.
Thirteen narrated video modules were developed by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach with funding support from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and IDALS. The modules with accompanying scripts and quizzes provide the information required for training agricultural workers and early-entry workers. An interactive WPS scenario allows workers to decide the best course of action in a possible exposure situation.
The Worker Protection Standard offers protections to approximately 2.5 million agricultural workers (people involved in the production of agricultural plants) and pesticide handlers (people who mix, load or apply pesticides) that work at over 600,000 agricultural establishments. To learn more about the WPS and view the training materials, go to http://www.extension.iastate.edu/pme/WorkerProtect.html.