Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation designed to protect agricultural workers. It contains requirements for protective equipment, restricted-entry times following pesticide applications, safety training, and other elements to prevent poisoning and injury from pesticides.

Individuals who currently hold a valid private applicator certification or are certified as a commercial applicator in categories 1, 3, or 10, or individuals who have completed the EPA approved “Train-the-Trainer” requirements may train handlers and/or workers. NOTE: It is recommended that trainers review training materials annually.

To learn more about the Worker Protection Standard at both the federal and state levels, see the Environmental Protection Agency’s websites and Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s website listed below.

Useful Definitions

  • Trainer—Someone who is certified as a private applicator, commercial applicator, or who has attended Train-the-Trainer training.
  • Handler—Someone who mixes, loads, and/or sprays pesticides.
  • Worker—A hand laborer.

EPA Releases Guidance on Pesticide Safety Training Requirements During COVID-19

Agricultural workers and pesticide handlers directly support the nation’s agricultural production and food supply and EPA is committed to ensuring they are protected from workplace hazards.

EPA has released guidance regarding the annual pesticide safety training requirements outlined in the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) that offers flexibility during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Agency is aware that COVID-19 may make it difficult for agricultural employers and handler employers to provide WPS pesticide safety training or hire agricultural workers and pesticide handlers who have been trained in the last 12 months, as required by the WPS.

In response, the guidance aims to inform agricultural employers and handler employers of flexibilities available under the WPS to allow continued protection for employees and agricultural production:

  • EPA encourages in-person training if workplace protections to maintain a healthy work environment are able to be implemented. For example, an employer may be able to provide pesticide safety training outside, in smaller than usual groups with well-spaced participants.
  • Alternatively, WPS training can be presented remotely, provided all WPS training requirements are met.
  • The employer is ultimately responsible for ensuring the training meets all requirements outlined in the WPS. For example, the training must still be presented in a manner the trainees can understand, in an environment reasonably free from distractions, and cover the full training content using EPA-approved training materials.
  • Once the training ends, the employer must document successful completion under a qualified trainer.

​To read the guidance in full and to learn more about EPA’s Worker Protection Standard, visit their webpage.

Web-based training for trainers at PERC in English

Web-based training for trainers at PERC in Spanish

WPS training presentation delivery requirements (a downloadable PDF document)

PERC’s main website for training requirements


Manuals

National Workers Protection Standard: A Manual for Trainers of Agricultural Workers and Pesticide Handlers

Manuals and More (a collection perfect for trainers)

​Forms / Documentation of Training

EPA Approved Presentations in MS-PowerPoint Format

WPS Flipchart: Safety Training for Agricultural Workers:

For WPS Training Verification Cards call or contact Wilnetia Williams @ 1-615-837-5148 or email Wilnetia.Williams@tn.gov.

What type of Worker Protection Standard Training must you provide? (PDF file)

How to Comply with the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides: What Owners and Employers Need to Know (PDF file)

WPS Requirements for Agricultural Employers of Workers Checklist (PDF file)

Quick Reference Guide to the Worker Protection Standard as Revised in 2015 (PDF file)

Worker Protection Standard Handbook for Agricultural Employers (PDF file)

WPS Employee Interview Form (TDA)

Worker Protection Standard Inspection Form (TDA)

Worker Protection Standard Respiratory Guide

WPS Posters

Warning Signs for the Field or Greenhouse:

Various materials available in Spanish​

Application Exclusion Zone (AEZ)

Hazard Communication Guide

Quick Reference Guide to the Worker Protection Standard as Revised in 2015 (PDF file)

Protect Yourself and Your Family from Pesticide Exposure:
The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) Agricultural Worker Booklet
 (English and Spanish versions)

Worker Protection Standard Respiratory Guide

WPS Training Videos for Agricultural Workers

WPS Training Videos for Handlers

Medical Evaluation Form​ in MS-Word Format (this is for individuals using respirators)