Use Self-Inspection Checklists to Ensure Worker Protection Standard Compliance

June 15, 2011

By Betsy Buffington and Kristine Schaefer, Department of Entomology

Iowa State University's Pest Management and the Environment (PME) Program and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) have developed a series of Worker Protection Standard (WPS) self-inspection checklists to assist agricultural employers, pesticide dealers and growers to ensure compliance with WPS. Funding was provided by IDALS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Four checklists are now available for agricultural workers and pesticide handlers in both greenhouse/nursery and agricultural applications. The checklists are available to download from the ISU Extension Online Store.

Agricultural establishments can use the checklists to conduct a walk-through and self-audit their operation. Each checklist provides a brief overview of basic WPS requirements and refers to more detailed information found in the EPA's manual, "How to Comply with the Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides — What Employer's Need to Know."

The WPS is a federal regulation designed to protect employees on farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses from occupational exposures to agricultural pesticides. 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. Additional information on the WPS is available on the PME website.

Betsy Buffington and Kristine Schaefer are program specialists in the Pesticide Management and the Environment program. Buffington can be reached at 515-294-7293 or Schaefer can be reached by email at or by phone at (515) 294-4286.

ICM News

Elizabeth Buffington Extension Program Specialist III

Betsy Buffington is an extension program specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She is part of the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP), conducts pesticide applicator training focusing on seed treatment and fumigation, and develops resource materials for ...

Kristine Schaefer PSEP Program Manager I

Kristine is the program manager for the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.