Employee Training FAQ

What are the specific employer requirements?

  • Notification - Property operators are required to give notification to persons, including farm labor contractors, who enter treated areas or persons likely to enter treated property while re-entry restrictions are in effect.
  • Employee Training - Employers must train employees in the specific use of all pesticides prior to their use. Employers must have a written training program and keep signed training records for 2 years in a central location.
  • Pesticide Handlers - Employers must post a copy of Pesticide Safety Information Series (PSIS) A-8 at the workplace prior to handling pesticides. Employers must also maintain training records, exposure records, medical supervision records, MSDS sheets and PSIS handouts. Employees must also be informed every year of the location of these records and their right of access within 48 hours.
  • Field Workers - Before employees enter treated fields employers must complete and post at worksites PSIS A-9. Field workers must also be informed of the location of application records, any changes to records, right to access within 48 hours, and protected against discrimination and discharge.

Who must be trained?

All employees who handle pesticides must be trained annually prior to using any pesticide. Training must be pesticide specific. Each training requirement must be covered for every pesticide an employee will handle before it is used.

A pesticide handler is any person who mixes, loads, or applies pesticides, flaggers, or persons who maintain equipment that contains or is contaminated with a pesticide.

Employers must establish a written training program describing materials and documents which are used for training. Examples include study guides, pamphlets, pesticide labels, MSDS sheets, Pesticide Safety Information Series (PSIS) handouts, visual aides, etc. A sample has been included at the top of this page for download.

What must be included in the training?

  • Immediate and long term hazards of pesticides.
  • Safety procedures, engineering control, such as closed systems, safe operation of application equipment, protective clothing and safety equipment to be used.
  • Emergency procedures to follow, symptoms of poisoning, decontamination procedures, where to obtain medical treatment.
  • Medical supervision requirements when organophosphates or carbamates are handled for six days in any thirty day period.
  • Applicable laws and regulations.
  • Where and how to obtain written hazard communications, PSIS handouts, MSDS sheets, exposure records, and training records.
  • If a respirator is used, either voluntarily, by employer requirement, or by label requirement, please see CDPR's Respiratory Compliance Program website.

What are the hazardous communication regulations as they apply to pesticides?

Current law requires that employees be told about potential hazards in the workplace. Employees must be informed through training, container labeling, and other forms of warning. Employers must tell employees, in a language they understand, about specific pesticides being handled, and how they should protect themselves.

What records do I have to keep if I have employees who handle pesticides?

Record/Document Retention Record Location
Pesticide Label During Use Work Site
Emergency Medical Posting During Use Work Site
Storage Area Posting During Use Work Site
Field Area Posting During Use Work Site
Pesticide Use Report 2 Years Headquarters
Permit or Operator I.D. 2 Years Headquarters
Respiratory Protection Program 2 Years Headquarters
Written Training Program 2 Years Headquarters
Training Records 2 Years Headquarters
Pesticide Safety Services 2 Years Headquarters
Material Safety Data Sheet 2 Years Headquarters
Employer's Work Practice Review 3 Years Headquarters
Employer/Medical Supervisor 3 Years Headquarters

In what form must employee training records must be kept?

  • Training records must be in writing.
  • Individual records must be kept for each employee handling pesticides.

How long must training records be kept?

  • Training records must be kept for 2 years.
  • The records must be kept at a central location and be available to employees and officials.

How long must training records be kept if I have employees who handle pesticides?

Record/Document Retention Record Location
Pesticide Label During Use Work Site
Field Posting During Use Work Site
Storage Area Posting During Use Work Site
Permit or Operator I.D. 2 Years Headquarters
Pesticide Use Records 2 Years Headquarters

I have employees on my farm that do spraying and pesticide applications for weed and pest control, what type of training and safety program should I be using? Who must be licensed or certified?

It is essential that anyone who applies pesticides in an agricultural or commercial business has been through a proper training program and is being supervised by a licensed applicator. Contact Shasta County Department of Agriculture for information on how to properly set up training programs and on becoming a licensed applicator.