Field Sanitation and Pesticide Safety

Authored By: Georgia Legal Services Program® LSC Funded
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Last Revised: August 2005

Every agricultural employer with more than 11 farmworkers who are doing hand labor tasks in the field for more than 3 hours (including travel time) must provide:

(1) POTABLE DRINKING WATER within 1/4 mile of work site, cool temperature and enough for all workers, single use cups or drinking fountain.

(2) TOILETS within 1/4 mile of work site, 1 toilet for each 20 workers, adequately ventilated, screened and private, self-closing doors, sanitary condition.

(3) HANDWASHING FACILITIES near to toilets, within 1/4 mile of work site, with potable water, soap and single use towels.


Establishes basic safe work practices to educate farmworkers about pesticides, limit exposure, and provide workers with information and help in case of emergency.

Basic Protections:

(1) Field workers should not be asked to enter the fields during periods called RESTRICTED ENTRY INTERVALS (REI). REI are based on the acute toxicity category of active ingredients in the pesticides. - REI ranges from high risk pesticides (48 hours) to low risk pesticides (4 hours) - for organophosphates in dry areas (72 hours) - there are exceptions, such as unexpected weather-related emergencies, early entry workers in specific situations

(2) Workers who might enter a treated area or walk within 1/4 mile of a treated area during application or an REI must be WARNED EITHER ORALLY OR BY POSTING WARNING SIGNS at the entrance to a treated area.

(3) PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT should be provided to early entry workers and handlers when specified by the EPA label on the pesticide container.

(4) Field workers must be given PESTICIDE SAFETY TRAINING before their 6th day of entry into areas where pesticides have been applied within the last 30 days.

(5) A DECONTAMINATION SITE (with eyewash) must be in place when field workers are in a treated area where an REI of greater than 4 hours has been in effect within the past 30 days.

(6) Employers must provide TRANSPORTATION to an appropriate medical facility in cases of suspected pesticide poisoning and INFORMATION FROM PESTICIDE LABEL to the worker or treating medical personnel.

(7) Employers must POST, in a central location, a LIST OF ALL PESTICIDES used on the farm. The list must contain the name, its EPA registration number, date and location of application and REI.

This sheet was developed and distributed by the Farmworker Division of Georgia Legal Services Program for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a lawyer. If you have a legal problem, you should contact a lawyer.

Dawson Morton
Georgia Legal Services Program
Last Revised: August 2005

Last Review and Update: Aug 23, 2005