US Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Pesticide Programs
Changes to EPA's Farm Worker
Protection Standard
September 2015

Changes to EPA's Farm Worker Protection Standard
The Environmental Protection Agency has revised the 1992 Agricultural Worker Protection Standard
regulation to increase protection from pesticide exposure for the nation's two million agricultural
workers and their families. These changes will afford farmworkers similar health protections that are
already afforded to workers in other industries while taking into account the unique working
environment of many agricultural jobs.
The regulation seeks to protect and reduce the risks of injury or illness resulting from agricultural
workers' (those who perform hand-labor tasks in pesticide-treated crops, such as harvesting, thinning,
pruning) and pesticide handlers' (those who mix, load and apply pesticides) use and contact with
pesticides on farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses. The regulation does not cover persons
working with livestock.
Major changes to the regulation:
•	Annual mandatory training to inform farmworkers on the required protections. This increases
the likelihood that protections will be followed. Currently, training is only once every 5 years.
•	Expanded training includes instructions to reduce take-home exposure from pesticides on work
clothing and other safety topics.
•	First-time ever minimum age requirement: Children under 18 are prohibited from handling
•	Expanded mandatory posting of no-entry signs for the most hazardous pesticides. The signs
prohibit entry into pesticide-treated fields until residues decline to a safe level.
•	New no-entry application-exclusion zones up to 100 feet surrounding pesticide application
equipment will protect workers and others from exposure to pesticide overspray.
•	Requirement to provide more than one way for farmworkers and their representatives to gain
access to pesticide application information and safety data sheets - centrally-posted, or by
requesting records.
•	Mandatory record-keeping to improve states' ability to follow up on pesticide violations and
enforce compliance. Records of application-specific pesticide information, as well as
farmworker training, must be kept for two years.
•	Anti-retaliation provisions are comparable to Department of Labor's (DOL's).
•	Changes in personal protective equipment will be consistent with the DOL's Occupational
Safety & Health Administration standards for ensuring respirators are effective, including fit
test, medical evaluation and training.
•	Specific amounts of water to be used for routine washing, emergency eye flushing and other
decontamination, including eye wash systems for handlers at pesticide mixing/loading sites.
•	Continue the exemption for farm owners and their immediate family with an expanded
definition of immediate family.
Additional information on the rule is available at: