What do you know about protective clothing?
Regulations and Guidelines
OSHA advises that the level of protection required will depend on the particular material hazard. This means that the protective clothing that effectively shields your employees from chemical exposure may not be suitable to shield them from the pesticides they’ll be spraying.
Never believe that your PPE will offer a universally applicable solution to all hazards. Make sure you evaluate the suitability of your PPE in relation to each hazardous chemical the employees will be employing.
This indicates that certain chemicals are so potent that there isn’t yet a PPE material that will hold up to repeated use.
Employers must be aware of this risk and supply replacement PPE or disposable protective clothing as required and per the instructions of the product’s manufacturer.
Environmental Protection Agency
When it comes to pesticide compliance, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the final arbiter. However, you should also take a closer look at the EPA requirements because state and municipal standards may be more strict.
These rules will be applicable not just to the employee handling the pesticide but also to anyone operating in the area that may be impacted after application. Therefore, a key component of your safety program should be to equip all exposed workers with the proper protective clothing.
To improve safety from pesticide exposure, the EPA updated its Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) in 2015. Added worker training, danger communication, PPE, notice, and other requirements are among the changes made to this regulation.
To ensure that you’re utilizing modern equipment that complies with the most recent laws, be sure to address these modifications with all of your PPE vendors.
Any kind of hazardous substance that is utilized at work needs to have proper safety labeling.
The “Hazards to Humans (and Domestic Animals)” portion of the pesticide product label normally lists the minimal PPE necessary to use the chemical safely.
The minimal PPE for early entry is described in the “Directions for Use” section (that is, for workers exposed to the product following the application).
Choosing the Right PPE
Disposable coveralls, chemical-resistant suits, chemical-resistant aprons, and chemical-resistant headgear are some examples of the PPE your employees may require.
Federal authorities do not consider additional garments, such as long sleeve shirts, to constitute PPE; nonetheless, it should be noted that pesticide labels may advise wearing these as an additional layer of protection.
Some specifications may require the use of “waterproof” or “chemical-resistant” equipment.
These descriptions are crucial. When used in this context, the term “waterproof” refers to a substance that will not let any detectable passage of water or other aqueous solutions.
Similar to this, chemical-resistant PPE is made so that no detectable passage of pesticide is possible through the material.
When it comes to the health and safety of employees, it’s best to take extra precautions. When purchasing PPE, try to go above and above the basic needs. Be sure to keep in mind:
Sewing up seams
Time and volume of exposure
The concentration of the energetic compounds
Rate of permeation
The actual setting of the workplace
Possibility of coming into contact with other employees or site visitors
Proper PPE Use
Employers are required to give the following while using pesticides, as with any hazardous chemical:
Appropriate protective clothing in good working order.
Instruction in how to operate the equipment properly
PPE should be checked daily for leaks, tears, holes, and wear.
Remove or fix any broken equipment
Cleaning protective clothing
Additionally, workers need to be taught how to take care of their PPE. Employees should be careful not to take any exposed PPE home because they are working with potentially dangerous chemicals.
Protective gear and clothing exposed to dangerous substances should also be cleaned in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and laundered separately from normal clothing.
Any individual charged with cleaning the PPE must be informed by the employer that it has been contaminated with pesticides.
These announcements ought to be made in writing and, ideally, as a part of a continuous safety program that regulates the secure handling of dangerous chemicals.
The potential negative consequences of exposure, as well as the proper handling and cleaning procedures, should all be explained in plain, understandable language.
Printing these alerts in several languages can help assure compliance and worker safety in organizations with lots of multilingual employees or employees for whom English is a second language.
Storing protective clothing
The PPE should be kept dry and stored in a space with good ventilation after it has been cleaned. To avoid any potential contamination, store it away from other equipment.
Retire the equipment from operation if an inspection reveals wear or damage. To prevent accidental use, dispose of the equipment instead of merely putting it back in its customary storage location.
It is also important to evaluate the gear’s seams and closures because they frequently have faster breakthrough periods and higher permeation rates than the fabric.
Although dangerous, pesticide products are crucial to many different businesses. They can be completely safe to handle with the proper tools and methods. Ensure that your staff members have the necessary tools so that the job may be completed safely.