Worker Protection Standard

​​​​​​​The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection enforces the federal ​Worker Protection Standard (WPS) in Wisconsin. The WPS is a regulation issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency intended to use information, training, and practices to reduce the risk of pesticide exposure for pesticide handlers and other workers producing crops:

  • On farms​​​
  • In forests
  • In nurseries
  • In greenhouses

Workers and handlers include employees, self-employed contractors and, in some cases, owners. 

Changes to WPS

EPA is proposing changes to the application exclusion zone requirements with the Worker Protection Standard. EPA published the proposed rule in the federal register on November 1, 2019. Comments are due on or before January 30, 2020. Changes to the AEZ are the only proposed changes that EPA is making to the worker protection standards at this time.

According to EPA, “EPA is proposing to amend the AEZ requirements in the 2015 WPS rule to limit the AEZ to the boundaries of the agricultural establishment. EPA is also proposing to revise the provisions related to handlers suspending and resuming applications, and the presence of persons on the agricultural establishment during application who are not under the control of the owner or agricultural employer. EPA is proposing to simplify the criteria for determining the AEZ distances for outdoor applications based on application method. EPA is also proposing to amend the AEZ requirements for owners of agricultural establishments and their immediate family members by expanding the exemption at 40 CFR 170.601(a) to include the AEZ requirements at 40 CFR 170.405(a).”

In other words, the AEZ will be limited to the boundaries of the farm, forest or nursery. And, immediate family members will be exempt from following the AEZ among other changes.

Proposed rule language

To comment, see the federal register docket []

Recent changes already in effect

Compare old/new provisions


Programs​​ to become a qualified trainer

Training materials and videos for workers, handlers and trainers

Training record form

Safety posters 

Requirements for posting WPS information

Posters for downloading and printing on 11 x 17 paper, with Wisconsin contact information

Order larger or laminated posters (no Wisconsin contact information)


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