From the ESD Case Files….
In this section of our newsletter, we will share with you brief descriptions of cases and their outcomes.
Aerial Drift Case.
In October of 2019, Complainant A reported to the Environmental Services Division that while raking a field, Aerial Applicator B, who was conducting an application on an adjacent field, sprayed both Complainant A and two of his co-workers. This investigation was assigned to State Inspector C. Inspector C interviewed the complainants and collected evidence. Applicator B told Inspector C that he indeed had accidentally sprayed the complainants; Applicator B provided a written statement. The investigation revealed that Aerial Applicator B was hired by Grower D to apply a herbicide on his field. During the application, Complainant A and his co-workers were working on land just south of the application site when they were sprayed by Applicator B. Applicator B was found responsible for failing to prevent drift.
Worker Protection Standard Case.
In December of 2019, an ESD inspector conducted a routine Worker Protection Standard (WPS) inspection of a harvest crew in Yuma. The harvester, a Farm Labor Contractor (FLC) based out of California, claimed it was their first season harvesting in Arizona. The inspector found that none of the agricultural workers had received pesticide safety training from an Arizona certified instructor. He also found other violations regarding required postings including failing to display pesticide safety information and information on the nearest operating emergency medical facility. In addition to failing to display or have available the AZDA’s Pesticide Hotline and a list of grower’s central posting locations. The FLC told the inspector they were not aware of Arizona regulations and claimed because he was in compliance with California he thought there would be no problem. The inspector provided a WPS “How to Comply” manual as well as a letter notifying them of potential violations. The grower who hired this FLC also received a notice as Arizona laws requires growers and shippers who hire FLC’s to make sure they are in compliance with Arizona laws. This case will be referred to the Office of the Associate Director of the Environmental Services Division for review and final disposition.