Practical Solutions for Pesticide Safety: Handheld Equipment

Safety solutions for handheld application equipment

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For this project we work with agricultural industry partners to discover and share practical pesticide safety measures for handheld application equipment. We are finding solutions in greenhouses, nurseries, and forest services industries.

What is a practical solution?

A practical solution is a work practice, tool, or facility for pesticide handling that is:


  • Compatible with work activities
  • Convenient for handlers & management
  • Adaptable and affordable for other workplaces


  • Helps to minimize pesticide exposure
  • Does not create a new health or safety problem

Sharing practical solutions is an excellent way to encourage others to use good safety practices. These practical solutions along with ‘shop talk’ training units that focus on the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) will be available nationally as an online guide.

What are the project goals?

  1. Identify, evaluate, and distribute pesticide safety measures for handheld application equipment.
  2. Use the practical solutions in short pesticide safety ‘shop talks’ that highlight key WPS messages.
  3. Collaborate with industry stakeholders.

How do you find practical solutions?

  • Our bilingual team tours participating workplaces. 
  • Together we identify potential practical solutions.
  • We interview pesticide handlers and managers to learn the story behind the solution.

How will these practical solutions be available?

Farm tested graphic

  1. The solutions are reviewed practicality and safety.
  2. The solutions and ‘shop talks’ are online. (see below)
  3. The solutions include a supply list, tips, photos, setup and use instructions, and links for more WPS information and relevant regulations.

PNASH Project 2016-2021 (CDC/NIOSH Cooperative Agreement # U54 OH007544)

View the practical solutions below >


Yellow Ribbon with Caution

Keep Everyone Informed on Pesticide Applications

Application tank contents and application date are written down on flagging tape to inform coworkers of the last products used in the tank.

Ice Vest

Keep Cool while Applying Pesticides

Wearing an ice pack vest under PPE keep applicators cool.

Room order list posted on wall

Greenhouse Hygiene Practices to Reduce & Contain Pest Outbreaks: #1 Don’t Share Pests between Rooms

Room order specifies the daily sequence that staff may enter greenhouse rooms. This procedure prevents accidental transfer of pests from room to room.

Environmental Monitor panel

Greenhouse Hygiene Practices to Reduce & Contain Pest Outbreaks: #2 Keep Room Clean using Recirculated Air

Recirculated air prevents the growth of mold and mildew, commonly introduced by using outside air. Maximize plant growth and minimize pests.

Clean room

Greenhouse Hygiene Practices to Reduce & Contain Pest Outbreaks: #3 Clean Rooms Prevent Pests

Cleaning a room thoroughly before introducing new plants will remove residual pests. Use sanitizing solution to for tools, add shoe scrubber in room entrances, and thoroughly sanitize all the benches in the room.

Items for worker hygiene

Greenhouse Hygiene Practices to Reduce & Contain Pest Outbreaks: #4 Worker Hygiene

Daily hygiene and sanitation are important to minimize the spread of pests.

Foldable sign

Foldable Posted Warning Sign Always There

Foldable posted warning signs for restricted-entry interval (REI) are permanently attached to metal stakes in fields. The posted warning sign is cut in half. Unfold prior to spraying pesticides to make it visible and fold when REI is complete.

Backpack sprayer

Unclogging Sprayer Nozzles on the Go

Save time by having supplies on hand to de-clog nozzles during a pesticide application.

chemical storage shed

Minimize Pesticides in Chemical Storage

Maintain a clean, well-organized pesticide storage. Use a pesticide chemical inventory to keep track of what is currently being stored and their estimated volume.

White transport bucket

Keep All Pesticide Handling in the Target Area

Use a designated container to transport all pesticide application products and supplies to the target area to minimize travel from application site to mixing and loading area.

Emergency PPE

Keep Emergency PPE Clean and Convenient

Store emergency supplies and PPE in a resealable plastic bag. Now you have emergency supplies if you need to exit the tractor cab.

Measuring pitcher

Measure Liquid Using Pre-marked Containers

Measuring containers for agricultural chemicals are marked to help handlers accurately measure liquids.