The EPA finalized updates to the Worker Protection Standard in September 2015, and the new regulations will come into effect in January 2017. Enck spent her time at the Indian Ladder Farms explaining how the new rule will better protect farmworkers and pesticide handlers by requiring better training, clearer and more prominent notification, and more in-depth pesticide safety and hazard communication. The regulation also strengthens requirements surrounding personal protective equipment and the availability of supplies for both routine washing and emergency decontamination. Those under 18 years of age will no longer be allowed to handle pesticides.
“There are approximately 100,000 farmworkers in the state of New York, and every farmworker deserves a safe and healthy work environment,” Enck said. “EPA is committed to making sure farmworkers, farmworkers' families, and pesticide applicators are not exposed to toxic pesticides.”
Beyond the 100,000 farmworkers in New York, 2 million workers across the country will benefit from the new rules.