98 • FUMIGATION WORKER SAFETY
EMPLOYERS OF FUMIGATION
workers are responsible for ensuring safe working conditions for these employees. They must make sure employees have the proper respiratory equipment or are monitored or pro- tected in other ways specified below. They must have accident plans and train their employees how to respond in case of accidents. And they must observe regulations regarding fumigat- ing enclosed spaces and fields and posting of warning signs.
General Fumigation Safe-Use Requirements
When fumigant concentrations cannot be controlled, and the employee’s exposure exceeds the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) as specified in the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 5155, or when the product label specifies more stringent requirements, employers must provide—and require employees to wear—approved respiratory equip- ment.
When an employee may be exposed above an exposure limit to methyl bromide, sulfuryl fluoride (Vikane), or any other fumigant for which the only type of approved respiratory equipment is air-supplied equipment, the em- ployer has the option to do one of the following:
require the employee to use air- supplied respiratory equipment, either self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or an air-line respirator
provide continuous monitoring to warn the employee before the PEL is reached
Upon written request by an employer, the Director of DPR will review and may accept a fumiga- tion safety program that describes methods, work practices, devices, or processes that the DPR Director determines will ensure employees will not be exposed to concentra- tions of fumigants in excess of the PEL.
Accident Response Plan. Employers must have an accident response plan at each work site, providing instructions to protect employees during situations such as spills, fire, and leaks. The employer must train employees in the accident management procedures found in the plan.
Fumigation of Enclosed Spaces
Enclosed spaces include, but are not limited to, vaults, chambers, green- houses, vans, boxcars, ships, planes, vehicles, and tarp-covered structures and commodities. When you fumigate tarp-covered commodities inside of buildings, or when you fumigate areas or things inside enclosed greenhouses, the following requirements apply to the entire structure. Whenever a pesticide is used for fumigation inside an enclosed space, at least two employees, trained in pesticide safety and an accident response plan, must be present at all times. The trained employees must be present in the following situations: