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Sep 15, 2022

WASHINGTON: L&I updates agriculture pesticide safety rules

Safety and Health 

Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) made minor changes to the existing agriculture pesticide safety standards found in WAC 296-307, which take effect on September 26, 2022. As a part of this process, L&I collaborated with the Washington State Department of Agriculture to ensure the existing rules met federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements. Below is a summary of the key changes, while all the modifications are tracked here and described in further detail in the Rulemaking Order (CR-103P).

Information provided to the worker when requested: Employers are already required to provide several pieces of information to a treating medical professional in the event of pesticide exposure. This information must now also be given to the employee when requested. See WAC 296-307-10825(6)(b).

Location of pesticide safety information: There’s an existing requirement describing where pesticide safety information must be displayed, including locations where decontamination supplies are in sufficient quantities to meet regulatory requirements. Previously, the pesticide safety information rule indicated this referred to locations where at least 10 gallons of water were on hand, but the new rule more accurately cross-references the existing supply requirements, saying that the safety information must be displayed at locations where quantities of decontamination supplies (which include not only water, but also soap and single-use towels) are enough for 11 or more workers. Those quantities, which are unchanged by the new rule, are found in WAC 296-307-10930, 296-307-11225 and 296-307-11415. See WAC 296-307-10830(1)(d).

Training requirement: Most of the training requirements are unchanged, but the new rules expand the definition of a qualified trainer to include someone who completes an EPA-approved pesticide training program designed for trainers of workers or handlers. See WAC 296-307-10905(3)(d) and WAC 296-307-11205(3)(d).

Chart for chemical resistance gloves: The rules modify the chart that specifies what gloves must be used based on the chemical resistance of specific pesticides. See WAC 296-307-11220 Table 3.

Tips: Most of the changes were to keep the standards at least as compliant as the EPA rules or to correct typos. If you have questions about pesticide safety in agriculture, be sure to connect with your Vigilant safety professional.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.