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PPE Surveillance in Agricultural

Pesticide Handlers- FY11

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.


  • To understand PPE practices and barriers among agricultural pesticide handlers (PH)and their employers over time.
  • To use that information to develop interventions addressing PPE barriers to best practices.
  • Note: Practices and barriers to practices include categories related to appropriate/inappropriate use and proper use/misuse.

Applicable Standards

  • 40 CFR 170.170.7, 170.240(c), 170.232 (a)(2), 170.230.b.1
  • 40 CFR 171, 40CFR 156
  • 29 CFR 1928, 29CFR 1910.132-1910.136, & 1910.138
  • EPA approved state PPE regulations

Key Partners

  • US EPA, OSHA and ORregon OSHA
  • State Cooperative Extension Services, Departments of Health, and Agriculture: WA, PA, AZ, FL, OR, NC, IA
  • NIOSH Ag Centers -PNASH
  • Various national & local PPE & pesticide manufacturers & suppliers


  • Agricultural Pesticide Handlers (mix/load/apply pesticides)
  • Employers of agricultural pesticide handlers

Project Scope

  • This is a five year surveillance and intervention pilot project for the NIOSH National Pesticide PPE Use Surveillance and Intervention Program with a pilot project in Pennsylvania.


  • Q1: Developed a non-standardized list of comprehensive barriers to optimal PPE use and develop initial interventions to address barriers
  • Q2: Hosted a national stakeholder meeting for agriculture to formulate partner working groups and strategies to overcome barriers. Submitted a NORA grant proposal.
  • Q3: Drafted NIOSH comprehensive survey on PPE use practices and barriers.
  • Q4: Cognitive interview and pilot tested the NIOSH PPE use survey. Conducted focus groups in OR, WA, PA, and FL with diverse stakeholders in small and large farm establishments to identify solutions to the causes of poor PPE use practices
  • Q1-Q4: Develop partnerships, implement interventions in PA and disseminate locally and nationally


  • Barriers report
  • National Stakeholders Meeting for Agricultural Stakeholders
  • First comprehensive PPE practices survey
  • Interventions (displays): Chemical resistant gloves materials, pesticide label, chemical resistant clothing, & PPE according to label
  • 1 Poster for NPPTL stakeholder meeting
  • 7 Invited Presentations on project
  • Bilingual toll-free PPE Hotline and Email for agricultural pesticide handlers
  • Flyer (English and Spanish)
  • FY12 NORA proposal
  • > 800 partners nationally
  • 3 manuscripts: 1) OR OSHA PPE violations data, 2) PPE regulations for Ag pesticide handlers, 3) Pesticide PPE use barriers


  • Reduced barriers to optimal PPE use, improved PPE practices, reduced pesticide illnesses and premature cancer deaths for worker and their families.
Page last updated: August 15, 2011
Page last reviewed: August 15, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory