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Use of Engineering Controls and Personal Protective Equipment by Certified Pesticide Applicators

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 15(4): 311-326. (doi: 10.13031/2013.28886) @2009
Authors:   C. W. Coffman, J. F. Stone, A. C. Slocum, A. J. Landers, C. V. Schwab, L. G. Olsen, S. Lee
Keywords:   Engineering controls, Personal protective equipment, Pesticide applicators, Pesticide handlers, Worker protection standard

A convenience survey of 702 certified pesticide applicators was conducted in three states to assess the use of 16 types of engineering controls and 13 types of personal protective equipment (PPE). Results showed that 8 out of 16 engineering devices were adopted by more than 50% of the respondents. The type of crop, size of agricultural operation, and the type of pesticide application equipment were found to influence the adoption of engineering controls. Applicators working on large farms, users of boom and hydraulic sprayers, and growers of field crops were more likely to use engineering devices. Respondents reported a high level of PPE use, with chemical-resistant gloves showing the highest level of compliance. An increase in pesticide applicators wearing appropriate headgear was reported. The majority of respondents did not wear less PPE simply because they used engineering controls. Those who did modify their PPE choices when employing engineering controls used tractors with enclosed cabs and/or were vegetable growers.

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