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State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation - page 103 / 132

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100 • FUMIGATION WORKER SAFETY

  • the name of the fumigant

  • the date and time the fumigant was injected

  • the name, address, and telephone number of the applicator perform- ing the fumigation

Unless fumigant concentration in the area is known to be at or below the PEL, employers must not allow employees to enter fumigated enclosed areas, except to determine the fumigant concentration or to facilitate aeration. If there are more stringent require- ments stated on the product label, those requirements must be followed.

Fumigants must not be released into an occupied work area. And after the completion of any fumigation, employ- ers must manage the treated area or products so that employees who enter the area or work with the treated products are not exposed to concentra- tions in excess of the PEL. If there are more stringent requirements stated on the product label, those requirements must be followed.

Field Fumigation

For soil fumigations using methyl bromide, alone or in combination with chloropicrin or any other pesticide or warning agent, signs must be posted as described in Chapter 6 and must remain in place until aeration is complete. For the following discussion of field fumigation requirements, “handling” includes:

  • assisting with covering the tarp at the end of the rows (shoveling)

  • observing the overall operation

  • checking tarp placement

  • changing cylinders (copiloting)

  • operating application equipment (driving)

  • tarp cutting and removal

Employer Recordkeeping. Employ- ers must maintain records for all employees involved in application, tarp cutting, tarp repair, or tarp removal. The records must identify

  • the employee’s name

  • the work activities they performed

  • the dates they performed the activities

  • the duration of handling

  • the U.S. EPA registration number

  • the brand name of the methyl bromide product that was handled

The employer must maintain these records at a central location for two years, and the records must be kept available for review upon request by the agricultural commissioner.

Employee Protection Requirements for Fumigation Handlers. Employees involved primarily in shoveling must work only at the ends of the applica- tion rows. Whenever methyl bromide is used for field soil fumigation, by itself or with chloropicrin or any other pesticide or warning agent, at least two trained employees must be present during introduction of the fumigant and removal of tarps if they have been used.

Limited Work Hours. An employee may work in more than one work task or application method in a 24-hour period as long as their total work hours do not exceed the lowest total hours specified in Sidebar 10 for any one work task or application method performed. During the injection period and during the restricted-entry interval, no employee may work in fumigation handling activities for more than the hours specified in Sidebar 10 in a 24- hour period.

Tarp Cutting and Removal Proce- dures. Tarp cutting and removal must be discontinued if the presence of gas is readily evident. This would be indi- cated by eye irritation or odor. Tarps used for broadcast fumigations must be cut using only mechanical methods (e.g., all-terrain vehicles or tractors with a cutting wheel). Each tarp panel used for broadcast fumigations must be cut lengthwise.

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