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State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation - page 77 / 132

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72 • PESTICIDE HANDLER SAFETY

during which these employees regu- larly handle these pesticides. After employees have had three tests at 30- day intervals, further periodic monitor- ing must be specified in writing by the medical supervisor. If the medical supervisor does not make a written recommendation for continued periodic monitoring of employees who regularly handle these pesticides, the testing interval must be 60 days (or every second period).

Employers must maintain the following records for three years:

  • the medical supervision agreement

  • pesticide use records

  • all recommendations

  • all test results

These records must be kept available for inspection by the employee, the Director of DPR, the county agricul- tural commissioner, the county, and state health officials.

If an employee’s red cell or plasma cholinesterase level falls below 80 percent of their baseline, the employer must investigate the employee’s work practices, including

  • employee sanitation

  • pesticide handling procedures

  • equipment usage

This investigation also includes a review of the safety equipment and its condition. Employers must maintain a written record of their findings, any changes they made in equipment or procedures, and any recommendations they made to the employee.

Employers must remove an employee from exposure to organophosphate or carbamate pesticides if the employee’s plasma cholinesterase level falls to 60 percent or less of the employee’s baseline plasma cholinesterase level, or if their red cell cholinesterase falls to 70 percent or less of their baseline red cell cholinesterase level. That employee must be removed from further expo- sure until their cholinesterase values return to 80 percent or more of their baseline values. The employer must

maintain written records of the date the employee was removed from exposure and the date the employee was re- turned to exposure.

Wor ing Alone

When employees mix, load, or apply pesticides that carry the signal word Danger and that are used for the commercial or research production of an agricultural commodity, they must observe the following rules about working alone:

  • Daylight operations: working alone is permitted only when the employee makes personal, radio, or telephone contact with a responsible adult at least every two hours.

  • Nighttime operations: working alone is permitted only when the employee makes personal, radio, or telephone contact with a responsible adult at least every hour.

  • A pilot, mixer, loader, and flagger team is considered to be working together.

  • Two ground applicators working in the same field and able to see each other or each other’s application vehicles are considered to be working together.

Change and Decontamination Facilities

Pesticide handler safety regulations include specific requirements for employers to provide employees with facilities for changing, washing, and decontamination.

Change Area. For any employee who regularly handles pesticides with the signal word Danger or Warning, and for all employees who handle any pesti- cides used for the commercial or research production of an agricultural plant commodity, employers must

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