Thursday, September 6, 2012

Requirements for Pesticide Application & Respiratory Protection

On January 1, 2008 County Agricultural Commissioners began enforcing new respiratory protection regulations adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). These new regulations, found in Title 3, California Code of Regulations, Section 6739, Respiratory Protection are very similar to the Cal/OSHA regulations for respiratory protection. Below is a summary of some of the key elements Section 6739.

General Requirements. Employers must establish a written respiratory protection program and assure that employees use respirators if respiratory protection is required by label, restricted material permit conditions, regulation, or the employer. The program must be worksite-specific and include the following provisions, as applicable:

•Selection of respirators
•Medical evaluation
•Fit testing
•Proper routine and emergency use
•Cleaning, maintenance, and care
•Ensuring breathing air quality
•Training in respiratory hazards
•Training in respirator use
•Program evaluation

DPR has developed a sample respiratory protection program to assist. Find it in the guidance document HS-1513, Generic Guidelines for Development of a Respiratory Protection Program in Accordance with Department of Pesticide Regulation Requirements. This document also states appropriate qualifications for a program administrator.

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