EPA announces changes to the Worker Protection Standard
Strengthened Federal Worker Protection Standards Applauded & Welcomed by Groups
Farmworker, labor, and environmental health advocates praise EPA for much needed protections
The updated Agricultural Worker Protection Standard, released today (9/28/15) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), received immediate praise from dozens of farmworker, labor, public health and environmental organizations.
The new WPS establishes a minimum age of 18 for pesticide handlers; increases the frequency of worker safety training from once every five years to every year; improves the content and quality of worker safety trainings; provides new rules on decontamination and personal protective equipment; and improves the quality of information that workers receive about the pesticides that have been applied at their workplace.
The amended WPS includes new provisions to protect farmworkers and pesticide applicators from exposure to pesticides. “These changes are an important step in the right direction and will help protect the health of farmworkers and their families from pesticide overexposure,” noted Amy K. Liebman, MPA, MA, Director of Environmental and Occupational Health for Migrant Clinicians Network.
It has taken more than 20 years for the Worker Protection Standard to be updated and revised, but farmworkers, advocates, health providers and residents of rural communities hope that EPA’s improved rule leads to real improvements in workplace safety for agricultural workers.
New Short Film by Sanjay Rawal of Food Chains Film on Pesticides and Farmworkers