Winnipeg, MB, May 2, 2014: The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) and Syngenta Canada Inc. have partnered to develop free educational tools to help educate producers, farm workers, and the general public about the importance of safe pesticide handling through the use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“Dress for Success” is a series of resources that provides an overview of PPE and proper pesticide handling procedures. The materials cover: the importance of reading and understanding all parts of pesticide product labels and PPE use instructions; how to safely wear, use, maintain, remove and dispose of PPE; and the legal requirements associated with safe pesticide handling.
Marcel Hacault is the Executive Director of CASA. “It is vitally important that producers take the steps necessary to protect themselves and their workers from inadvertent pesticide exposure,” he says. “Through our work with Syngenta, CASA is very pleased to be making the “Dress for Success” resources available now, when many producers are beginning to implement their pest control plans for the growing season to maximize their yields.”
Dr. Paul Hoekstra is the Science and Regulatory Stewardship Manager with Syngenta Canada. “When it comes to pesticides, it is essential that the label instructions and requirements for the use, safety and handling of all pesticide products are adhered to. PPE are a critical component of that and we are pleased to be able to partner with CASA on the development of some new resources to communicate the importance of PPE to a variety of audiences,” he says.
ATTENTION MEDIA: Publish “Dress for Success When Applying Pesticides,” a safety advice article focused on pesticide safety. Word count: 864. Byline Credit: Canadian Agricultural Safety Association.
Syngenta is one of the world’s leading companies with more than 28,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life. For more information about us please go to syngenta.com.
The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association is a national, non-profit organization promoting farm safety in the agricultural sector. CASA’s vision is a country where no one is hurt farming and CASA is working with partners in government, business, and farming organizations across the country to support initiatives that equip producers, their families and their workers with the information and tools needed to make farms a safe place to live, work and play. CASA is funded primarily through Growing Forward 2, a federal, provincial and territorial initiative, with support from the agricultural and corporate sectors including Farm Credit Canada, the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, CHS and TransCanada Corporation. Connect with CASA at casa-acsa.ca through Facebook, YouTube or Twitter @planfarmsafety.
For more information, contact:
Michelle French Lancaster
Head, Corporate Affairs
Syngenta Canada Inc.
Safety Advice Article
Headline: Dress for Success When Applying Pesticides
Byline: Canadian Agricultural Safety Association
Word Count: 864
With the planting season upon us, pesticides will be part of the arsenal of tools used to prepare for and maintain the impressive patchwork of golden wheat, creamy oats, mustard canola, and azure flax across the prairies. But keeping various pests at bay often requires handling chemicals, so the right mix of safe handling practices and personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed in order to get the job done, while maintaining the health and safety of those applying or coming into contact with pest control products.
All pesticides are not created equally. Different pesticides require different PPE depending on the formulation and type of potential exposure. Start by reading the pesticide label. Do you require a chemically-resistant apron or suit, impervious footwear, gloves, headgear, eye protection, or respirator? What about work clothes such as a long-sleeved shirt or pants? While chemical exposure most commonly occurs on the hands and forearms, pesticides can enter the body through the skin, mouth, eyes and nose. As well, moist areas of the body—including the eyes, groin, armpits, and ear canals—are particularly absorptive. So PPE must protect all body parts at risk of exposure depending on the task and toxicity level of the product.
What PPE is required will also differ depending on the task being performed. Will you be mixing pesticides, loading, applying, performing clean-up operations or entering a treated area? If you are applying a pesticide, what is the method of application? Will you be using a handheld or mechanized sprayer? Is the formula in liquid or dry form? The pesticide label will address all of these factors when prescribing the appropriate PPE.
When reading a pesticide label, look for one of three signal words to help you understand the exposure risks associated with the product: Caution, Warning and Danger. Caution indicates that the product is slightly toxic when exposed to the skin, lungs, eyes, or mouth. Warning indicates that contact with at least one of these areas is moderately toxic, while Danger indicates that the product is highly toxic when expose occurs via the skin, lungs, eyes, or mouth. If you aren’t sure you have the right PPE for the pesticide, contact your provincial government or the manufacturer of either the pesticide or PPE for clarification. If you are unsure, don’t apply it.
Once you have selected your PPE, it is important that it is worn and used properly. Special googles are often required to prevent eye exposure. When clothing meets protective footwear or gloves, it’s important to ensure appropriate overlap of PPE to prevent chemicals from coming into contact with your legs, arms or feet. Respirators must be fit tested before they are used for the first time, and checked annually unless your weight or other facial features change significantly between fit tests. As well, a seal check must be performed every time you don a respirator to ensure a good seal between skin and respirator.
Discomfort, particularly from heat exposure, is never a reason to remove PPE. Instead, work when it is cool, take frequent breaks, drink lots of water, or find other alternatives to reduce discomfort. If all else fails, quit for the day. Removing your PPE before the job is done is not safe and not worth the risk.
Like all clothes, PPE is susceptible to wear and tear. Check all PPE for signs of wear and tear on a regular basis, discarding anything that may compromise your protection. Replace and dispose of any PPE or PPE components according to product instructions.
Don’t linger in your PPE. Remove it as soon as you have completed your task. Wash disposable or reusable gloves with soap and water, remove other PPE with your gloves still on, and then wash your gloves again before removing them. Wash PPE separately from other laundry using detergent and hot water. Store your PPE according to usage instructions. This often includes protecting PPE from chemicals, sunlight, extreme temperatures, high humidity and moisture. And, never store PPE with other personal clothing or near pesticides.
Employers are required to follow the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), the Pest Control Products Act, as well as any applicable provincial occupational health and safety laws. If you employ workers, you are responsible for providing them with information about the pesticides they are using, the required PPE for the task at hand, appropriate training in the use of that PPE, and immediate transportation to a medical facility in the event of pesticide exposure. Additionally, you are required to ensure their PPE fits properly, and that it is correctly cleaned, maintained, replaced and stored.
When it comes to pesticides, the label is the law, so it is essential that you read, understand and follow the instructions and requirements for the use, safety and handling of all pesticide products. It will protect you, and your workers, from unnecessary exposure while maximizing the potential of those fields of wheat, oats, canola, flax, or other crops. For more information on safe PPE use, download the “Dress for Success” brochure or watch the video, produced as part of a partnership between Syngenta and the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association. These materials can be found at: casa-acsa.ca/dressforsuccess or syngenta.ca/stewardship.
May2014_DressforSuccess_spraying.jpg (Credit: Syngenta Canada)
When it comes to pesticides, the label is the law, so it is essential that you read, understand and follow the instructions and requirements for the use, safety and handling of all pesticide products.