The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is responsible for the implementation, compliance monitoring, and enforcement of the federal Worker Protection Standard Rule in Minnesota.
The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a regulation established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the risks of occupational pesticide exposure to agricultural workers and pesticide handlers.
The WPS covers pesticides used in the production of agricultural plants, including outdoor and/or in enclosed space production, on farms, forests, nurseries, greenhouses and wind tunnels, The WPS requires the employer to take steps to reduce the risk of employee exposure to pesticides.
An agricultural worker is a person who is employed (included self-employed) on an agricultural establishment and completes work related to the production of agricultural plants such as weeding, pruning, repotting plants, carry nursery stock, irrigating or harvesting. A pesticide handler is a person who is employed (including self-employed) on an agricultural establishment and who mixes, loads, applies, assists, disposes, flags for or enters a pesticide treated area or enclosed space.
If you are an agricultural pesticide user and/or employer of agricultural workers or pesticide handlers, the WPS requires you to provide to your employees:
- information about exposure to pesticides,
- protection against exposure to pesticides, and
- ways to mitigate exposure to pesticides.
Worker Protection Standard Train-the-Trainer Course
Iowa State University Extension and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship offer an on-line WPS Train-the-Trainer course that provides agricultural employers with information that meets the WPS training requirement for agricultural workers on outdoor or enclosed space production.
Upon completion of the course, agricultural employers are qualified by the Pesticide Bureau of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to conduct WPS pesticide safety training for agricultural workers. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) accepts this training course to meet the WPS Train-the-Trainer course requirement in Minnesota.
On-line course and additional WPS resources:
The MDA encourages participation in the on-line course as MDA no longer offers standalone Worker Protection Standard (WPS) Train-the-Trainer sessions.
To request a hard copy of the manual “How to Comply With the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard For Agricultural Pesticides” send an email with your name and Minnesota mailing address to Gregorio.Mendez-Ortega@state.mn.us.