WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE PESTICIDE HANDLER?
According to California regulations, an employee pesticide handler is any employee who:
mixes, loads, transfers, applies (including chemigation), or assists with a pes- ticide application, including flagging
maintains, services, repairs, cleans, or handles equipment that may contain residues or that has been used in pesticide mixing or application activities
works with opened (including emptied but not rinsed) containers of pesticides.
adjusts, repairs, or removes treatment site coverings
incorporates pesticides into the soil through mechanical means or irrigation
enters a treated area during any application, or before the inhalation exposure level listed on pesticide product labeling has been reached or greenhouse ventilation criteria have been met
performs the duties of a crop advisor, including field checking or scouting, making observations of the well being of the plants, or taking samples during an application or any restricted entry interval listed on pesticide product labeling
containers. Never allow employees to take home empty containers or containers containing pesticides.
Mixing and Application Equipment. Emphasize in the training how to operate mixing and application equipment and how to measure and mix pesticides into the application equipment. Train handlers on how to calibrate the application equipment properly.
Making a Pesticide Application. Teach employees how to confine a pesticide to the target area and how to avoid contamination of people, animals, waterways, and sensitive areas during an application. Make employees aware of the impacts that a pesticide might have on the environment when it is improperly used.
Handling and Cleaning Application Equipment. Inform handlers that after using application and mixing equipment, it is contaminated, therefore anyone contacting it must wear the personal protective equipment (PPE) listed on the pesticide label for pesticide handlers. Emphasize that this equipment requires thorough cleaning after use and before storage. Instruct handlers that in some cases, when mixing pesticide concentrates with water, they can rinse the mixing equipment with water and use this rinse water as part of the water used for diluting the pesticide. In other situations, such as water cooling towers, they can pour rinse water from mixing equipment into the water being treated.
People who handle pesticides can be at risk for illness or injury if they receive an excessive exposure resulting from carelessness or an accident. Without taking proper precautions, such as wearing prescribed PPE, an excessive exposure may result in pesticides entering the body through the skin, eyes, lungs, or mouth.
Skin (or dermal) contact is the most frequent route of pesticide exposure. Certain pesticides on the skin may cause a rash or mild skin irritation (known as dermatitis). Other types of pesticides cause more severe skin injury such as burns. For some