Worker Protection Program
Staff from the Worker Health and Safety Branch’s Human Health Mitigation Program develop, implement, and evaluate California's pesticide safety regulations for workers and provide input on changes to the federal Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Research includes looking at trends in DPR's pesticide illness surveillance database, enforcement databases, compliance assessment studies, and data from field surveys and human health pesticide exposure monitoring studies. This program is also responsible for the development and oversight of outreach materials such as the Pesticide Safety Information Series (PSIS) leaflets. Staff develop and administer worker outreach and other related projects as part of the Pesticide Consolidated Cooperative Agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA).
In California, the Food and Agricultural Code and the California Code of Regulations must be followed for training fieldworkers and pesticide handlers.
- If you are certified to train trainers in California through the Train-the-Trainer (T2) program, DPR must approve any T2 instructor training programs and materials.
- If you are certified to train fieldworkers and pesticide handlers, your training materials do not need to be approved by DPR, but must be based on information from approved materials such as those found below.
As of January 2, 2017, California regulations have been updated with new pesticide safety requirements for employers and employees working in the production of agricultural plant commodities in order to be consistent with the recently revised federal WPS. Additionally, as of March 1, 2018, updates that expand the pesticide safety training topics for fieldworkers and pesticide handlers and clarify employer responsibilities are in effect.
- Overview of the changes to California regulations to comply with revised federal Worker Protection Standard (WPS), PDF
- Worker Protection FAQ for 2017 – Provides questions/answers to recent California regulation revisions
Worker Safety Outreach and Education Resources
- California Train-the-Trainer Manual, PDF – A pesticide safety training guide for trainers of fieldworkers and pesticide handlers.
Pesticide Safety Information Series (PSIS) – Leaflets explaining the worker safety regulations and other safety information to workers. Available in English, Spanish, Punjabi, and Hmong.
Handler and Fieldworker Pesticide Safety Training Templates (2024 Updates) – Employers may use these templates and training record forms, which include the expanded list of training topics, to train employees to handle pesticides or to work in pesticide-treated fields.
- Employer's Written Handler Training Program, PDF (En Español, PDF)
- Handler Safety Training Record, PDF (En Español, PDF)
- Fieldworker Training Record, PDF (En Español, PDF)
UC IPM Training and Safety Resources – provides safety education models and resources.
- Publications and other materials
- Training materials
- Workshops and events – IPM workshops, T2 training; pesticide safety training
- Training programs – online pesticide training in urban use, retails sales, maintenance gardener exam preparation.
- General pesticide information
Resources for Pesticide Worker Safety Regulations
- California Code of Regulations – Title 3, Division 6. Pesticides and Pest Control Operations. The California Code of Regulations must be followed to be in compliance with the WPS.
- U.S. EPA Worker Protection Standard (WPS) – Overview of the revised federal regulations. The WPS sets the minimum worker protection regulations for state compliance.
- U.S. EPA's Pesticide Education Resources Collaborative (PERC) website – This site contains an inventory of WPS training materials, some of which may be used as a foundation to meet California requirements.
For content questions, contact:
1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
Phone: (916) 445-4222