The University will comply with the EPA’s Worker Protection Standard (WPS) 40 CFR Part 170 in all aspects. The WPS was adopted under North Carolina Pesticide Law of 1971 in 1993 by the North Carolina Pesticide Board. This standard addresses training, personal protective equipment, safety procedures, monitoring of handlers, and access to pesticide information to reduce or eliminate exposure to pesticides. The WPS protects employees on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses from occupational exposure to agricultural pesticides and covers two types of employees:

  • Pesticide handlers: those who mix, load, or apply agricultural pesticides; clean or repair pesticide application equipment; or assist with the application of pesticides.
  • Agricultural workers: those who perform tasks related to growing and harvesting plants on farms or in greenhouses, nurseries, or forests.

For more information on WPS see EPA-WPS and NC-Department of Agriculture’s WPS


In addition to the WPS, employees handling and applying pesticides may also need to be registered, certified, and/or licensed by the North Carolina Department  of Agriculture’s Pesticide Section. This would also include individuals who conduct pest control in buildings (i.e. Structural Pest Control) and on grounds.   NCSU’s Pesticide Safety Education Program offers training (Pesticide Schools) and develops of training materials and manuals. See: Do You Need a Pesticide License or Certificate?

University employees who handle pesticide would also need to comply with various OSHA regulations, including Hazard Communication Standard (1910.1200), Personal Protective Equipment Standards (1910.132-133) and Respiratory Protection Standard (1910.134.). See Personal Protective Equipment and Respiratory Protection Program for details.

For questions or assistance on pesticide exposure prevention and safety contact EHS at 919-515-6862 or 515-8658.


Departments have the following responsibility:

  1. Make certain that employees are adequately trained and are applicably registered, certified, and/or licensed.
  2. Assure the necessary personal protective equipment is available for use during application, equipment cleaning, or spill cleanups for each pesticide in use.
  3. Assure that employees and students receive required medical surveillance as described under 4 below. Note: (This is at the student’s expense and they can choose their own physician. Employees must use approved NCSU medical provider.
  4. When possible, choose a pesticide with the lowest toxicity rating (e.g. a pesticide with a ‘Caution’ label rather than a ‘Danger’ label). Make efforts to limit the exposure time of employees who apply, mix or handle organophosphate pesticides no less than 7 days in any 30 day period. All employees having a potential for significant exposure to toxic or highly toxic cholinesterase inhibiting OP (Class I and II) or combination OP and N-methyl-carbmates should participate in periodic monitoring of cholinesterase levels.  See Cholinesterase Biomonitoring Program
  5. Where necessary, maintain pesticide application schedule and post for the required time-period.
  6. Adhere to other areas of the WPS, including REIs – Restricted Entry Intervals, oral warnings, pesticide application notification and posted safety information.
  7. Follow WPS requirements in the event of a pesticide poisoning or exposure, which includes provisions for transportation to a medical facility and providing medical personnel with information on the pesticide and circumstances of the injury or exposure.


EPA’s Quick Reference Guide Worker Protection Standard 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard Comparison Chart