Use Self-Inspection Checklists to Ensure Worker Protection Standard Compliance

June 15, 2011
ICM News

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.

Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on June 15, 2011. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.


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.