CLEMSON – New requirements aimed at reducing pesticide poisoning and injury risks are coming in January 2018 and the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service wants all South Carolina agricultural workers to be prepared.

People with rubber gloves holding bottles

South Carolina agricultural workers can learn about pesticide safety and more during workshops designed to teach about revisions to the EPA’s WPS.

A workshop designed to teach workers how to comply with new requirements coming to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is scheduled at three locations across the state. The first workshop is from 9 a.m. to noon, Oct. 25 at Clemson’s Sandhill Research and Education Center Agribusiness Center G01, 900 Clemson Road, Columbia, 29224. The second workshop, slated for Nov. 15, also will take place from 9 a.m. to noon in Greenville County Square, Suite 400, 301 University Ridge, Greenville, 29601. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Vegetable Lab Conference Room, 2700 Savannah Highway, Charleston, 29414, is the location for the third workshop from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Jan, 31, 2018.

Workers completing this training qualify for three pesticide recertification credits. Attendees with pesticide licenses are asked to bring their licenses with them to the training. Cost is $30 and includes all workshop materials. To register, contact Katie Moore at kcrouch@clemson.edu, or (803) 417-5198. Anyone requiring special accommodations because of a disability is asked to notify the location they will be attending 10 days prior to the workshop.

EPA’s Agricultural Worker Protection Standard is aimed at reducing the risk of pesticide poisoning and injury among agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. The WPS offers occupational protections to more than 2 million agricultural workers (people involved in the production of agricultural plants) and pesticide handlers (people who mix, load, or apply crop pesticides) who work at more than 600,000 agricultural establishments (farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses).

The WPS requires owners and employers on agricultural establishments and commercial pesticide handling establishments to protect employees on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses from occupational exposure to agricultural pesticides. WPS protections cover 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 or nurseries.

For information on the Worker Protection Standard, go to https://tinyurl.com/CUWPSMaterials.

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