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State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation - page 34 / 104





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resource provided by DPR’s Worker Health and Safety Branch is the Pesticide Safety Information Series (PSIS) that covers most legal requirements for employers whose employees handle pesticides. The two versions of this series are: (1) the “A” version that applies to agricultural settings, and (2) the “N” version that applies to non- agricultural settings. Microbial pest control generally falls in the non-agricultural category. Go to the Worker Health and Safety Branch section on DPR’s web site at http://www.cdpr.ca.gov on the Internet to download the latest versions of these information sheets.

Employer Requirements

Pesticide handling by employees has certain inherent hazards. For this reason, U.S. EPA, DPR, and Cal/OSHA laws and regulations require employers to take specific actions to assure the safety of employees. Employers are required to:

  • train all employee handlers who are not certi- fied applicators

  • require employees to follow safe use requirements specified in regula- tions and on the pesticide product labeling

  • explain to employees the hazards of specific pesticides being used

  • determine and require safe work procedures to be followed when handling pesticides

  • supervise employees to assure they follow safe work practices and comply with regulations and pesticide product labeling requirements

  • provide and maintain a safe workplace

  • provide, require the use of, clean, and maintain PPE and other safety equip- ment that is required by regulations and pesticide product labeling

  • maintain records of employee training


Regulations prescribe the format for pesticide labels and what information they contain. Any document referred to on the pesticide label becomes a legal part of that label. The pesticide label includes all labels and all other written, printed, or graphic matter attached to or accompanying the pesticide container or to which the documents the actual label refers. All these documents must be available at the application site during the time of use. “The label is the law” is a commonly used phrase.

Supplemental Labels. Some packages are too small to have all the required label information printed on them. In these cases, the U.S. EPA requires manufacturers to attach supplemental labels. On metal and plastic containers, manufacturers put supplemental labels in plastic pouches glued to the side of the containers. Paper packages usually have supplemental labels inserted under the bottom flaps.

When to Read the Pesticide Label and Attached Booklets or Other “Pull Off” Labeling. Read the entire pesticide label and attached booklets or other “pull off” labeling:

1. Before buying the pesticide. Make sure the pesticide is registered for its intended use. Confirm there are no restrictions or other conditions that prohibit using this pesticide at


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