This 3-year project strives to educate Service Providers (SP’s) regarding proper pesticide equipment calibration and regulatory compliance regarding Worker Protection Standard (WPS) rule with emphasis on reducing pesticide exposure and respirator fit testing. Success can result in improved pesticide application accuracy, employee health, regulatory compliance, environmental protection, resulting in increased grower profitability. Health care professionals will be trained to conduct respirator fit testing for Worker Protection Standards (WPS) compliance and to recognize and offer treatment options for potential pesticide exposures. Project success may result in improved pesticide application accuracy, employee health, regulatory compliance, environmental protection, resulting in increased profitability.
The purpose of the project is to provide pesticide safety education regarding exposure reduction, respirator fit testing, sprayer calibration for pesticide applicator stakeholders and health care providers in the Pacific Islands. Train-The-Trainer outreach activities and educational resources can be offered at local farmer markets in health care facilities to develop a trusted relationship between the two groups.
Improper calibration is a historical problem. This can lead to misapplication of pesticides and significant cost to growers.
Changes to the federal WPS focus on reducing pesticide exposure. Exposure reduction is critical to human health of pesticide applicators (handlers) and those who work in areas treated with pesticides. Training health care professionals in rural health clinics will provide a trusted source for workers with potential pesticide exposure and reliable source for respirator fit testing.
In Year One, between Hawaii, and the Pacific Island Territories 20 service providers will attend Train-The-Trainer workshops. In Year 2 twenty health care providers will attend Train-The-Trainer workshops.
Priority to participate will be given to growers, educators, and commodity organization representatives who agree to provide future training to others. Make-up of SP selected to attend the workshops will focus content of on significant crops in the service providers geographic area.
Project objectives from proposal:
Objective 1: Enhance capabilities of partners and stakeholders to develop and implement programs/activities to improve sprayer calibration and prevent and reduce pesticide risks to agricultural farm workers and/or pesticide handlers
Project to meet this objective:
- Increase educators’ knowledge and skills to provide more engaging and interactive pesticide safety training.
- Demonstrate hands-on activities and provide necessary materials for educators to increase stakeholder engagement through interactive presentations.
Objective 2: Educate farmworkers and/or agricultural pesticide handlers on sprayer calibration and the safe use of pesticides.
Project goals to meet this objective:
- Service Providers (SP’s) educate farmworkers and/or agricultural pesticide handlers on the safe use of pesticides with a focus on human and environmental exposure reduction, respiratory protection, sprayer calibration, and Worker Protection Standard (WPS) compliance assistance.
- Provide access to pesticide safety educational materials through print materials available through extension educators, electronically through alternative media, INSPIRE and other online sources.
- Adapt materials based on workshop evaluation recommendations, and to be culturally and crop specific to Pacific Island when funding, or existing print/video materials exist
Develop a stream-lined process to measure and document project process and facilitate replication of the project.
Objective 3: Protect humans, communities, and ecosystems from illnesses and injuries caused by potential exposure to pesticides
Project goals to meet this objective:
- Increase knowledge of medical personnel regarding signs, symptoms, and treatment of pesticide exposures
- Increase the number of respirator fit tests conducted by medical professionals, especially for WPS compliance.