Objective: To be able to choose the proper attire for pesticide application and assure cleanliness of personal protective equipment.
Trainer’s NoteHelpful visual aids for this module include personal protective equipment (PPE) and a variety of pesticide labels. Based on the recommendations provided on the labels, demonstrate what PPE to wear during various chemical applications. Review the true or false quiz.
The following PPE is available to protect against pesticide exposure:
Gloves: Wear unlined, elbow length, chemical-resistant gloves when handling any pesticide concentrate or chemical labeled DANGER, POISON, or WARNING. Check gloves for holes or leaks. To check for leaks, fill the gloves with clean water and squeeze. Throw the gloves away if water squirts through a hole. Leaks or holes in the gloves can expose the skin to chemicals.
Either tuck gloves into shirt sleeves or vice versa. This prevents the chemicals from getting inside the gloves at the cuff. After applying or handling pesticides and before removing the gloves, wash them with detergent and water to prevent contaminating the hands.
Never wear cotton or leather gloves. They do not protect against dermal (skin) exposure. They would allow chronic exposure to the pesticide.
Footwear: When applying or handling chemicals, wear unlined, lightweight chemical-resistant boots that cover the ankles. Wear long pants over the boots to avoid getting pesticides inside the boots. Do not use leather boots. After each use, thoroughly wash and dry boots on the inside and out to remove residues and reduce exposure risk. Always wear gloves when cleaning personal protective equipment after it has been used.
Eye Protection: Wear tight-fitting, non-fogging chemical splash goggles or a full-face shield when applying or handling pesticides. Clean the eye protection and wash the sweatband after each use.
Head Protection: Protect the head and neck against pesticide exposure by wearing a waterproof rain hat or washable, wide-brimmed hard or bump hat. Avoid cotton and felt hats because they absorb pesticides.
Respirators: Wear a respirator when it is recommended by the pesticide label. It will be necessary to wear a respirator when handling concentrated, highly toxic pesticides. Ensure that the respirator fits properly, and is the appropriate type for the hazard. For further information, refer to "Respirator Protection and Fit" module.
Clothing: Regular work attire of long pants and long sleeve shirt is acceptable. Disposable coveralls or protective suits may be necessary depending on the toxicity of pesticide. Spraying contaminates clothing so be sure to wear fresh clothing daily. Wash contaminated clothing separately from other laundry. Dispose of items that are saturated with pesticides. Drop into plastic bag rolled in an open position. For further information refer to "Pesticide-Contaminated Clothing Laundering" module.
Review the Following Points
- Pesticide applicators are legally required to follow all PPE instructions that appear on the labels of pesticide containers.
- Wear the right PPE clothing/protection for the right job.
- Never use faulty or worn out PPE.
- Always wash thoroughly when finished with pesticide applications.
About These Modules
The Ag Tailgate Training Series was developed by members of the Agricultural Safety and Health Program in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Revised by Dee Jepsen, State Agricultural Safety Leader, with editing assistance by Lisa Pfeifer and Cody McClain.
True or False Answer Key
Quiz: Pesticide Protective Equipment
True or False?
1. Eye protection should fit snugly and be non-fogging.
2. Wear pants on the inside of the boots to avoid getting pesticides on the pants.
3. Use respirators as called for by the pesticide label.
4. Never wear the same clothes without washing them first.
5. Throw away any PPE equipment that has holes or is damaged.