Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

On November 2015 USEPA revised the worker protection standards to implement more protection for agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. Most of the revised WPS standards became effective on January 2018.  The WPS requires commercial pesticide handler employers to provide specific information and protections to workers, handlers when WPS-labeled pesticide products are used on agricultural establishments in the production of agricultural plants.  Additional resources on Worker Protection Standards can be found on IFCA’s website under Regulations.  Feel free to contact IFCA with any questions. 
Who is Included in WPS:
●             mixing, loading or apply agricultural pesticides
●             clean or repair pesticide agricultural equipment
●             assist with the application of pesticides
Pesticide Training Requirements:
Pesticide handlers need WPS training annually.  Exempt from the training requirement are Certified CCA’s, Commercial Applicator and Operators. A handler is an employee who assists with the mixing, loading, cleaning or repair of agricultural equipment that is not a certified CCA, commercial applicator or operator.
Who can perform the training for pesticide handlers?
  • Someone who holds a current pesticide applicator's license (in any category)
  • Someone who has completed an EPA-approved WPS Train-the-Trainer program.
  • Someone who has been designated as a trainer of certified pesticide applicators or handlers by a state, federal, or tribal agency having jurisdiction.
Respiratory Protection Requirements:
Under the Worker Protection Standard (WPS), there are new requirements for pesticide handlers when pesticide labels require the use of a respirator.
Before pesticide handlers can use a respirator, they must receive:
  1. A medical evaluation by a physician or other licensed health care professional,
  2. Fit-testing with a taste/smell/irritating indicator, or with quantitative measurements, and
  3. Training about the use, care, and maintenance of the respirator.
WPS Training for Pesticide Handlers click on following link below.