Worker Protection Standard

What is the Worker Protection Standard (WPS)?

In 1992, the federal WPS was adopted into the Code of Federal Regulations; the code has been significantly revised, with most requirements effective January 2, 2017. The remainder are effective January 2, 2018.

The WPS is a regulation developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect agricultural employees from the harmful effects of pesticides and their residues.

WPS covers agricultural workers and pesticide handlers who are employed on any farm, forestry operation or nursery engaged in the outdoor or enclosed space production of agricultural plants.

Reference: Who must be WPS Trained.

The WPS regulation requires agricultural employers to provide employees with information and training on ways to avoid exposure to pesticides and pesticide residues. Also need to provide protections and mitigation measures to avoid or minimize potential exposure to pesticides.

The primary document available to employers concerning the WPS is the  “How to Comply with the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides”.  Also known as the How to Comply Manual.

All Trainers of WPS must be certified.

All training material must be certified by the EPA.  The bulk of this material has been or will be compiled on the the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) website.  When you utilize material from this website for training you must record the EPA reference number along with the title of material used on your Employee Training Record.  Employee training records must be retained for 2 years.  There are videos or PowerPoint presentations available on this website. The most recent additions (January 2017) will be the most useful for training and include:

  • A Curriculum for In-Person Delivery of a Train-the Trainer Course EPA WPS TTT W/H 00026
  • WPS Agricultural Worker Pesticide Safety Training EPA Worker PST 00017
  • Pesticide Safety For Agricultural Workers (video) EPA Worker PST 00001
  • WPS Pesticide Handler Safety Training EPA Handler PST 00018

In addition to training your workers and handlers you are also responsible for a wide variety of items under this rule.  A summary of all employer responsibilities can be found in this document Duties for Employers.

Online Resources


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