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State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation - page 92 / 132

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88 • FIELDWORKER SAFETY

Emergency Medical Care. When employees are required to enter pesticide-treated fields, emergency medical care must be planned for in advance. The employer must locate the nearest medical facility where emer- gency medical care will be available for all employees who will work in treated fields. Employees or their field supervi- sors must be informed of the name and location of the medical facility or doctor where emergency medical care is available. If the identified facility is not readily accessible from the work location, the employer must outline the procedures employees should follow in order to obtain emergency medical care.

Employers must ensure that employ- ees are immediately taken to a doctor when there is reason to believe they have a pesticide illness or injury, or when an exposure to a pesticide has occurred that might lead to an employee’s illness.

Fieldworker Decontamination Facilities. Whenever fieldworkers are working in a treated field, decontami- nation facilities must be within 1/4 mile from—or at the nearest point of vehicular access to—the fieldworkers. The employer must assure that these facilities contain sufficient water, soap, and single-use towels for hand and face washing and for emergency eye flushing. The water must be of a quality and temperature that will not cause illness or injury to skin or eyes, or if it is swallowed.

Decontamination facilities must not be in an area that is being treated or is under a restricted-entry interval, unless the fieldworkers are performing early- entry activities.

Restricted-Entry Intervals

A restricted-entry interval (REI) is the period of time after a crop or commodity has been treated with a pesticide when restrictions on entry are

in effect to protect employees from potential exposure to a hazardous level of pesticide residue. Restricted-entry intervals are specified in the regulations and on the pesticide labels. In case of an inconsistency between the regula- tion-specified restricted-entry interval and label-specified restricted-entry interval, the longer restricted-entry interval must be followed. If more than one REI in regulations can be applied to a given situation, the longer one applies.

When reference is made in a re- stricted-entry interval to pounds of a pesticide, it means pounds of active ingredient. Each day referenced in a restricted-entry interval is considered to be a 24-hour period beginning at the completion of the application. The regulation-required restricted-entry interval applies to the pesticide-crop combinations listed in the regulations.

Field Reentry After Pesticide Application

A treated field may be entered by any employee without restriction after the REI expires. But no employee must be directed to enter or remain in a treated field until the label- or regulation- specified restricted-entry interval has expired, except as explained below:

Employees may enter a treated field during a restricted-entry interval to conduct pesticide-handling activities, including soil incorporation, watered- in or mechanical, if they use the pesticide handler PPE listed on the pesticide label (Figure 6-3).

Employees may enter a treated field during a restricted-entry interval to perform no contact activities. “No contact” means the employee will not have any contact with any treated surface, including soil, water, air, equipment, or plant surfaces. Before employees are allowed or directed to enter a treated area, the inhalation exposure level must meet the label standard. For greenhouses, the ventila- tion criteria outlined earlier in this

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