Bureau of Compliance Monitoring
Worker Safety Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a link below to go to a specific topic:
- What is FAWSA?
- What is the Worker Protection Standard (WPS)?
- Who do FAWSA and WPS protect?
- How are FAWSA and WPS regulated?
- What types of establishments are covered by FAWSA and WPS?
- How do I know if FAWSA and WPS apply to me?
- Which pesticides are covered?
- What is required of employers affected by FAWSA and WPS?
- Who is allowed to train workers and handlers?
- How do I get the blue and green EPA WPS training verification cards to give to people I train?
- Where can I attend a WPS Train the Trainer class?
- Where can I get FAWSA and WPS training materials?
FAWSA is the Florida Agricultural Worker Safety Act which was implemented July 1, 2004. Its intent is to ensure that agricultural workers employed in Florida receive protection from agricultural pesticides and are given information concerning agricultural pesticides. For more information, go to Florida Agricultural Worker Safety Act.
The Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides (WPS) is a federal regulation aimed at protecting agricultural employees from the hazards associated with working with and around pesticides. For more information, go to Federal Worker Protection Standard.
FAWSA protects agricultural workers (“workers”). WPS protects two types of people: agricultural workers ("workers'') and pesticide handlers ("handlers"). The workers and handlers must be employed on an agricultural establishment that produces agricultural plants. Workers perform tasks such as harvesting, weeding, planting and other tasks associated with the production of agricultural plants. Handlers are individuals who actually handle pesticides and the application equipment. These tasks include mixing, loading and applying pesticides and handling the equipment used to apply them.
FAWSA is a Florida law and is regulated by FDACS. The WPS is a federal regulation implemented in Florida by FDACS through a cooperative agreement with EPA.
Establishments that are covered are farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses that produce agricultural plants. Agricultural plants means any plant grown or maintained for commercial or research purposes and includes, but is not limited to, food, feed, fiber plants, trees, turfgrass, flowers, shrubs, ornamentals, and seedlings.
If an establishment falls under the jurisdiction of the WPS, it must meet three criteria:
- The establishment must be considered agricultural, as defined by the WPS, and must produce agricultural plants. This includes any farm, forest, nursery or greenhouse but excludes agricultural establishments where only animals (livestock, fish, etc.) are produced.
- The establishment must use pesticides labeled with the agricultural use statement which instructs that the product is to be used in accordance with the WPS.
- The establishment must employ or contract with (within the last 30 days) agricultural workers or pesticide handlers.
For assistance in determining if an establishment is covered, see our publication “Does WPS Apply To Me?
You can tell if a pesticide is covered by WPS by reading the agricultural use statement on the label. Look for the statement "Must be applied in accordance with the Worker Protection Standard, 40 CFR Part 170." This indicates the product falls under the WPS regulation.
Generally speaking, the requirements for agricultural employers include:
- providing training to employees who are workers and handlers;
- providing specified decontamination supplies to those employees;
- providing information to employees so they know exactly what, where and when pesticides have been applied; and
- providing emergency assistance to employees who have become sick from pesticide exposure.
Any person who conducts pesticide handler training must meet one of the following criteria:
- Is currently a certified pesticide applicator of restricted use pesticides (RUPs); or
- Is currently designated as a trainer of certified pesticide applicators or pesticide handlers by a state, federal, or tribal agency having jurisdiction; or
- Has completed a WPS Train the Trainer program approved by a state, federal or tribal agency having jurisdiction.
Any person who conducts agricultural worker training must meet one of the following criteria:
- Is currently qualified to present handler training as described above; or
- Is currently trained (as specified in EPA's certification and training regulations) as a handler who works under the supervision of a certified pesticide applicator; or
- Is currently trained as a WPS handler.
You must first attend a WPS Train the Trainer class given by Cooperative Extension Service or FDACS personnel and become a certified WPS trainer. You must then sign an agreement with FDACS and agree to certain provisions. Generally speaking, these provisions state that you agree to conduct the proper training as determined by the WPS, you will keep records of the individuals you train, and you will report annually to FDACS the number of cards you distribute.
You can attend a Train the Trainer program at local Cooperative Extension Service Offices that offer such training. Contact offices in your area to find out when and where Train the Trainer courses are offered. A directory of Cooperative Extension Service Offices is available online at http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/map/index.html.
Go to Worker Safety Outreach Materials for information on how to obtain training materials.
For questions, concerns, complaints or compliments please email us at AESCares@FreshFromFlorida.com