The Worker Protection Standard is a regulation issued by the US
Environmental Protection Agency, related to pesticides used in the
production of agricultural crops and the protection of workers and handlers who may
be exposed to those pesticides.
•Normal agricultural practices include applying
crop protection products to the crop to control weeds, insects, or
plant disease. In order to prevent injury and minimize pesticide exposure(by breathing, swallowing,
or physical contact), Pioneer fields receive pesticide applications
only when necessary and with the safest possible product. Employees are not allowed to enter fields that
have recently received a pesticide application until the restricted-entry interval (REI) has lapsed.
•Pioneer Hi-Bred complies with the Federal Worker Protection Standard (WPS) that requires all workers to receive training
on pesticide safety procedures when they begin work. You must receive this training and
sign a safety sheet to document this training.
•Each field has a posting method to list all of
the chemicals applied to the field during the past 30 days, and a pesticide safety poster that lists the
address and telephone number of a
nearby emergency medical facility. Pioneer Hi-Bred also has a Hazard Communication Program, which includes Material Safety Data Sheets
on any pesticides applied to seed
fields. The program and Material Safety Data Sheets are available to
all field workers for review.
The WPS Pesticide Field Sign is one that folds into an “open”
position and is located at the primary field entrance to the seed field
to provide notice of pesticide
application. Do not enter fields if the sign says to “Keep Out”
•The Primary Field Entrance is the field entry point most often used to
enter the field. Some fields may have
other approved entry points, but it is critical that you check the primary entrance and the WPS field sign.
•Another WPS requirement is to provide workers
a decontamination site for washing off pesticide residues. Your supervisor will be able to tell you where
For crews of eleven or more, portable
toilets are provided for your
use. Wash water, soap, and towels will be provided. It is important to
wash your hands:
• Before eating
• Both before and after using
the portable toilets
For crews of less than eleven it is recommended that workers bring the
following items to the field:
• Drinking Water - from a
certified source. Never drink from
irrigation pipes, open streams, or unknown wells.
• Decontamination water - at
least 1 gallon for each person to be used for emergency eye flushing.
• Soap and single use towels.
Drink pure water frequently,
particularly during hot days, since it minimizes the potential for
heat-related stress and dehydration. Water
provided to crew members will come from a certified source.