compliance violations

Top Five Compliance Violations as reported by WSDA

February 27, 2023

Top Five Compliance Violations as reported by WSDA related to the Worker Protection Standard program

By Brett Holman


  1. Pesticide Application Information and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) – Incomplete and/or not displaying pesticide application information and SDS of products used.

Guidance – SDS, and pesticide application information must be displayed no later than 24 hours after the end of the application and before workers enter the treated area. Pesticide application information to be posted must include the name of the pesticide applied, active ingredient(s), EPA registration number, REI, crop or site treated, location and description of the treated area(s), date(s), and times application started and ended.  The information must remain posted until 30 days after the REI expires, or until workers/handlers are no longer on the establishment, whichever is longer.  An example of a form that could be used to post pesticide application information can be found at the following link: WSDA Central Notification of Application Form


  1. Pesticide Safety Poster – Pesticide Safety poster not displayed, accessible and legible at permanent mix and load sites, permanent decontamination sites, and decontamination sites for 11 or more workers.

Guidance – Pesticide safety information must be posted and conveyed in a manner that workers and handlers can understand.  This information must be displayed at a central location that is readily accessible at all times during normal work hours and can be easily seen and read.  In addition, must be displayed at any permanent decontamination site, and any location where decontamination supplies are required in quantities for 11 or more workers.

Other recommended posting locations would include employee notice board, fill station(s), and chemical shed(s).  Pesticide Safety Poster that meets the requirements can be found at the following link:  Make sure to fill in the emergency information listed on the left-hand side of the poster.


  1. Accessibility of Pesticide Safety Information – WPS Safety Poster, application information, and SDS not displayed, accessible at a central location during normal work hours where workers/handlers congregate.

Guidance – Pesticide safety poster, application information, and SDS must be posted and conveyed in a manner that workers and handlers can understand.  This information must be displayed at a central location that is readily accessible at all times during normal work hours and can be easily seen and read.  This is usually in a location where employees congregate such as where they check-in or out of work, change clothes, eat, etc.


  1. Decontamination – No decontamination supplies provided to handlers and early-entry workers.

Guidance – Water: Three gallons of decontamination water for every handler and early-entry worker. However, WSDA was granted an equivalency to maintain the existing requirements of 10 gallons for one employee and 20 gallons for two or more employees.  Every worker performing an early-entry task must be provided with one gallon of decontamination water at the beginning of the work period.  Soap and single-use towels: enough for handlers’ needs.  Clean change of clothes: This could be such as coveralls, for use in an emergency.  Additionally: If the pesticide product applied requires protective eyewear, 1 pint of water in a portable container must be immediately available to each handler and early-entry worker.


  1. Application Records – Application records not accurately recording all of the necessary information.

Guidance – Application Records must be maintained for no less than seven years in Washington State.  They must include:

  • Name – Full name and address of the person or agency for whom the pesticide was applied.
  • Location – The exact location and/or address of the land where the pesticide was applied.
  • Time – The year, month, day, start, and end time of application
  • Pesticide – The full product name used on the container or package label and EPA registration number if applicable.
  • Weather – The direction from which the wind was blowing, estimated wind speed, and temperature at the time of pesticide application.
  • Rate – The amount of pesticide applied per acre or other appropriate measure.
  • Concentration – This would be the amount of product applied per 100 gallons of water or other measure.
  • Site – The crop or site to which the pesticide was applied.
  • Apparatus – Apparatus license plate number, if used to make the application.
  • Applicator name(s) – The licensed applicator’s full name, license number, address, and phone number as well as the full name of the individual(s) making the application.
  • Area – The number of acres or other appropriate measures, to which the pesticide was applied.

Also, be aware of other required information that may be asked of your food safety program such as recommendations number (ties technically responsible person making plant protection product choice to application record), target pest (justification of application), equipment ID information (ties to calibration of equipment, organic vs conventional, cleaning), and REI/PHI information (ties to employee safety and residue analysis).


For a list of the Top Ten Compliance Violations listed by WSDA including the five listed here along with more helpful information check out the following link:

The state’s Worker Protection Standard (WPS) rules can be found in the following WAC codes:

  • Department of Agriculture (WSDA) – WAC 16-233
  • Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) – WAC 296-307

The state rules for both agencies are more stringent than the federal rules.  By following the requirements of the state WPS rules, employers will also comply with federal rules.

Helpful links related to WPS Requirements are:

Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) –

National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) –