A full suit, gloves and boots are called for under certain circumstances.PHOTO BY CLYDE OGG

A full suit, gloves and boots are called for under certain circumstances.PHOTO BY CLYDE OGG

When it comes to applying pesticides, taking the time to incorporate safety measures into your routine makes all the difference. Even though we know it’s important, it doesn’t always get the attention it’s due.

Follow these guidelines before, during and after an application to keep you and your team safe.

Top Ten Do’s:

  • Get to know the equipment being used, i.e., how to adjust the nozzle or hopper box opening.
  • Read the label again before opening the container.
  • Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) called for on the label.
  • Keep the spray wand at the proper angle.
  • Perform a spray calibration check periodically, especially with equipment that is a few years old.
  • Be aware of changing wind speed and direction.
  • Close the container and stow it in a locked pesticide cabinet after mixing.
  • Apply leftover pesticide volume to a site identified on the label.
  • Post emergency contact information by every phone in the shop.
  • Call a doctor or poison control center in the event of accidental exposure.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t remove important pieces of PPE, even when it’s hot.
  • Don’t handle or apply pesticides if you are ill or not feeling well.
  • Don’t eat, drink, smoke or use the restroom during a pesticide application.
  • Don’t allow people or pets access to the area before the specified re-entry time.
  • Don’t reuse empty pesticide containers.
  • Don’t apply a product to sites not specified on the label.
  • Don’t transfer pesticides to other containers, such as milk jugs or oilcans.

 

To read more about what you and your team can do to stay safe when handling pesticides, read John C. Fech’s latest column.