WPS Pesticide Safety Trainer Course Schedule (Pesticide Safety... "I should know this" series)
…AND the winner of the most frequently asked question of the year is: “When is the next Pesticide Safety Train-the-Trainer Workshop?”
By Jennifer Weber, UA Pesticide Safety Education Program
It’s been a few months since the last edition of thePesticide Safety… “I should know this” series, where I answer pesticide-related questions and provide safety information you can pass along to others. Today I’m responding to a question about to the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s Worker Protection Standard (WPS) Train-the-Trainer Workshop schedule – a very popular question and one I receive frequently.
I just found out our foreman is going to retire in December. Great for him, but a huge loss for us.
He’s been with the farm for 54 years and has been in charge of our workplace safety and compliance program for at least the last 20.
Question: Do you know if the Arizona Department of Ag still offers the Pesticide Safety Train-the-Trainer Workshops?
I have a couple of employees I’d like to send so they can get certified to provide the WPS training.
Answer: I’m sorry to hear you are losing such a valuable foreman and safety trainer. However, I’m impressed you are planning ahead and searching for ways to continue your workplace safety and compliance program.
The Arizona Department of Agriculture still offers the Pesticide Safety Train-the-Trainer Workshops. They moved the program to an online format during the pandemic and are still offering them virtually on a quarterly basis. You can find the schedule and links to registration details in the orange tables on the webpage: https://agriculture.az.gov/trainingassistance/pesticide-safety-training/pesticide-safety-trainer-program
Since you mentioned your foreman will retire in December and the next Train-the-Trainer Workshop is on December 6, 2022, I have a few ideas of how to make sure everyone at your farm remains current with their WPS training. These ideas might be helpful if you find December 6th is not a good date for the two employees you would like to become trainers.
Look at your most recent WPS training records to find out when everyone needs to be trained again. The WPS requirements were updated a few years ago and both agricultural workers and pesticide handlers must attend training each year. If everyone was trained in June, for example, and you are not going to hire additional workers or handlers in the near future, the two employees have a bigger window of time to enroll in and complete the pesticide safety train-the-trainer program.
If after reviewing the training records, you notice the WPS training renewal date will be cutting it close, ask your foreman if he would please train everyone again a week or two before his December retirement. This would buy a little more time for your two employees to become certified trainers and will help you to remain in compliance with the WPS training requirements, as long as you don’t hire untrained workers or handlers before your two employees become certified to provide the training themselves.
Another great option is to find currently certified trainers by searching the AZDA webpage: http://searchagriculture.az.gov/SearchAg/Home/Trainers. You might see a familiar name of a neighbor or friend who would be happy to provide WPS training for the agricultural workers and handlers who work on your farm.
Finally, the AZDA has a pesticide safety trainer named Roberto Rios who provides WPS training in English and Spanish at agricultural operations for free. I’m sure at that bargain basement price he is pretty busy so you might have to schedule a few weeks in advance. Roberto can be reached by phone (602) 542-0985 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there something you know you should know, or would like others to know? If so, send me your requests and questions by email@example.com or phone (602) 827-8222. I’ll be happy to add them to thePesticide Safety… “I should know this” series.