California Code of Regulations (Title 3. Food and Agriculture)
Division 6. Pesticides and Pest Control Operations

Division 6. Pesticides and Pest Control Operations
Chapter 3. Pest Control Operations
Subchapter 3. Pesticide Worker Safety
Article 4. Fumigation


6780. General Fumigation Safe-Use Requirements.

(a) When fumigant concentrations cannot be controlled and an employee's exposure exceeds the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) as specified in Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Section 5155, Airborne Contaminants, or more stringent requirements by product labeling, the employer shall provide and require the employee to wear approved respiratory protective equipment.

(b) Whenever an employee may be exposed above an exposure standard to methyl bromide, sulfuryl fluoride, or any other fumigant for which only air-supplied respirator equipment is approved, the employer shall either:

(1) Require the use of air-supplied respirator equipment,

(2) Employ continuous monitoring to warn employees before the PEL is reached, or

(3) Operate under the provisions of (c) below.

(c) Upon written application by an employer, the director will review, and may accept, a Fumigation Safety Program that describes methods, work practices, devices, or processes which the director determines will ensure that employees will not be exposed to concentrations of fumigants in excess of the PEL.

(d) The employer shall have an accident response plan at the worksite. The plan shall provide instructions to protect employees during situations such as spills, fire, and leaks. Employees shall be trained in accident management procedures based on the plan.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 11456 and 12981, Food and Agricultural Code.

Reference: Section 12981, Food and Agricultural Code.

6782. Fumigation of Enclosed Areas.

Enclosed areas include vaults, chambers, greenhouses, vans, boxcars, ships, planes, vehicles, and tarpaulin-covered structures and commodities. When fumigating tarpaulin-covered commodities inside buildings, and areas or things inside greenhouses, this section applies to the entire structure.

(a) Whenever a pesticide is used for fumigation inside an enclosed area, at least two trained employees shall be present at all times when:

(1) The fumigant is introduced into the enclosed area;

(A) Except, only one trained person is required to be present when solid fumigants (including aluminum phosphide, magnesium phosphide, and smoke cartridges) are introduced into the enclosed area from outside the enclosed area;

(2) The enclosed area is entered for the purpose of facilitating aeration; and

(3) The enclosed area is entered to determine the concentration of the fumigant and personal protective equipment is required by pesticide product labeling or regulation.

(b) When using a fumigant for the commercial or research production of an agricultural commodity, any employee in an enclosed area during a fumigant application shall maintain continuous visual or voice contact with another employee stationed immediately outside of the enclosed area.

(c) The second employee shall have immediate access to the personal protective equipment required by the pesticide product labeling for handlers in the event entry into the fumigated enclosed area becomes necessary for rescue.

(d) Prior to the commencement of fumigation, warning signs shall be posted in plainly visible locations on or in the immediate vicinity of all entrances to the area under fumigation and shall not be removed until fumigation and ventilation have been completed, and the premises are safe for reentering. Warning signs shall be printed in red on white background and shall contain, in English and Spanish, the following statement in letters not less than two inches in height: "DANGER-FUMIGATION". They shall also depict a skull and crossbones not less than one inch in height and shall state in letters not less than one-half inch in height the name of the fumigant, the date and time the fumigant was injected, and the name, address and telephone number of the applicator performing the fumigation.

(e) Employees shall not be allowed to enter fumigated enclosed areas, except to determine the fumigant concentration or facilitate aeration, unless the concentration in the area is known to be at or below the level specified in 6780(a) above.

(f) The fumigant shall not be released into an occupied work area.

(g) After completion of the fumigation, the treated area or products shall be managed so that employees entering the area or working with the treated products are not exposed to a concentration in excess of the level specified in 6780(a) above.

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 12981, Food and Agricultural Code.

Reference: Sections 12980 and 12981, Food and Agricultural Code.

6784. Field Fumigation.

(a) Signs required to be posted in accordance with section 6776(f) shall remain in place until aeration is complete.

(b) The provisions of this subsection pertain to field soil fumigations using methyl bromide applied pursuant to the fumigation methods described in section 6447.3.

(1) Employer Recordkeeping. The employer shall maintain records for all employees performing fumigation-handling activities. The records must identify the person, work activity(ies), date(s), duration of handling, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Registration Number, and the brand name of the methyl bromide product handled. The employer shall maintain these use records at a central location for two years.

(2) Employee Protection Requirements.

(A) Employees involved primarily in shoveling shall work only at the ends of the application rows.

(B) When required by this section, employees shall wear a certified respiratory protection as specified on the label. Employees shall wear the required respiratory protection during the entire duration of the fumigation-handling activity.

(3) Limited Work Hours and Workdays.

(A) No employee may work in fumigation-handling activities more than the hours specified in Table 1--Maximum Work Hours during the injection period and during the entry restricted period.

1. An employee may perform fumigation-handling activities without the work-hour limitations specified in Table 1–Maximum Work Hours if a full-face respirator is worn during the entire duration of the activity.

2. Multiple-Task Employees. An employee may work in more than one work task and/or application method in a 24-hour period as long as the employee's total work hours do not exceed the lowest total hours specified in Table 1–Maximum Work Hours for any one work task or application method performed.

(B) Notwithstanding subsection (b)(3)(A), an employee may work in fumigation-handling activities in a 24-hour period for the work hours specified in Table 2–Maximum Work Hours in a Maximum Three (3)Workdays Per Calendar Month during the injection period and during the entry restricted period, provided the employee's total workdays performing fumigation-handling activities do not exceed three days in a calendar month.

1. An employee may perform fumigation-handling activities without the work- hour limitations specified in Table 2–Maximum Work Hours in a Maximum Three (3) Workdays Per Calendar Month if a half-face respirator is worn during the entire duration of the activity.

2. Multiple-Task Employees. An employee may work in more than one work task and/or application method in a 24-hour period as long as the employee's total work hours do not exceed the lowest total hours specified in Table 2– Maximum Work Hours in a Maximum Three (3) Workdays Per Calendar Month for any one work task or application method performed.

Table 1. Maximum Work Hours

Fumigation Method/Activities

Maximum Application Rate
(lbs. of actual methyl bromide per acre)

Maximum Work Hours in a 24-Hour Period Wearing Half-Face Respirator During Entire Fumigation-Handling Activity

Nontarpaulin/Shallow/Bed
Tractor Equipment Driving Supervising
200 lbs. 8*
8*
Nontarpaulin/Deep/Broadcast
Tractor Equipment Driving Supervising
400 lbs. 8*
81/
Tarpaulin/Shallow/Broadcast
Tractor Equipment Driving
Shoveling, Copiloting
Supervising
Tarpaulin Cutting
Tarpaulin Removal
400 lbs. 7*
3*
3*
101/
no limitation 2/
Tarpaulin/Shallow/Bed
Tractor Equipment Driving
Shoveling, Copiloting
Supervising
Tarpaulin Cutting
Tarpaulin Removal
250 lbs. no limitation
6*
6*
10 1/
no limitation 2/
Tarpaulin/Deep/Broadcast
Tractor Equipment Driving
Shoveling, Copiloting
Supervising
Tarpaulin Cutting
Tarpaulin Removal
400 lbs. 7*
3*
3*
10 1/
no limitation 2/
Drip System - Hot Gas
Applicators
Supervising
Tarpaulin Cutting
Tarpaulin Removal
225 lbs.

4*
4*
10 1/
no limitation 2/

1/ Exception: An employee may perform this activity without a half-face respirator provided the employee does not work more than one hour in a 24-hour period. The maximum one-hour work limitation may be increased in accordance with the formula located below.

2/ Exception: An employee may perform this activity without a half-face respirator provided the employee does not work more than three hours in a 24-hour period. The maximum three-hour work limitation may be increased in accordance with the formula located below.

*If the actual methyl bromide application rate is less than the maximum application rate shown above in Table 1 or below in Table 2 for the particular fumigation method used, the maximum work hours may be increased in accordance with the following formula:

    maximum revised maximum

maximum application rate for method
actual application rate

x

work hours in a
24-hour period

=

work hours in a
24-hour period


Table 2. Maximum Work Hours in a Maximum Three (3) Workdays Per Calendar Month


Fumigation Method/Activities Maximum
Application Rate
(lbs. of actual
methyl bromide per acre)
Maximum Work Hours in a
24-Hour Period
Without the Use of Respirators
  Nontarpaulin/Shallow/Bed:
        Tractor Equipment Driving  
        Supervising
200 lbs.

4*
4*
  Nontarpaulin/Deep/Broadcast:
        Tractor Equipment Driving
        Supervising 
400 lbs.

4*
7*
  Tarpaulin/Shallow/Broadcast:
        Tractor Equipment Driving
        Shoveling, Copiloting
        Supervising
        Tarpaulin Cutting
        Tarpaulin Removal 
400 lbs.

4*
3*
3*
4
7
  Tarpaulin/Shallow/Bed:
        Tractor Equipment Driving
        Shoveling, Copiloting
        Supervising
        Tarpaulin Cutting
        Tarpaulin Removal 
250 lbs.

4*
4*
4*
4
7
  Tarpaulin/Deep/Broadcast:
        Tractor Equipment Driving
        Shoveling, Copiloting
        Supervising
        Tarpaulin Cutting
        Tarpaulin Removal 
400 lbs.

4*
3*
3*
4
7
  Drip System - Hot Gas:
        Applicators
        Supervising
        Tarpaulin Cutting
        Tarpaulin Removal 
225 lbs.

2*
2*
4
7

(C) No employee shall be allowed to alternate between the workday and work-hour requirements specified in subsection (b)(3)(A) and (B) unless the employee did not perform fumigation-handling activities during the previous 30 days.

(4) (Reserved)

(5) Tarpaulin Repair.

(A) The operator of the property shall assure that a "tarpaulin repair response plan" is provided to the commissioner. The tarpaulin repair response plan must identify the responsibilities of the licensed pest control business and/or the permittee with regard to tarpaulin damage detection and repair activities. At a minimum, the tarpaulin repair response plan must indicate the parties responsible for the repair and incorporate the applicable elements listed in (B) below.

(B) The "tarpaulin repair response plan" approved by the commissioner in the work site plan must state with specificity the situations when tarpaulin repair must be conducted. The situations should be based on, but not limited to, hazard to the public, residents, or workers; proximity to occupied structures, size of the damaged area(s); timing of damage; feasibility and response time of repair; and environmental factors such as wind speed and direction.

(C) The ambient air in the damaged areas of the tarpaulin to be repaired must be tested for methyl bromide concentration by a certified applicator of the licensed pest control business that made the application, or by a certified applicator employee of the permittee, or certified applicator permittee, using a testing device as specified by the labeling. The certified applicator shall wear self-contained breathing apparatus when conducting these tests.

(D) All repair work areas must test less than five parts per million methyl bromide before any employee without respiratory protection shall be allowed to enter and conduct tarpaulin repair. Such employee is limited to one work hour in a 24-hour period, unless respiratory protection specified on the label is worn.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 11456 and 12981, Food and Agricultural Code.

Reference: Section 12981, Food and Agricultural Code.