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N.B. This is a text only version of slides 16 - 28 of the training module "Personal protective equipment (PPE)" which is also available to download as a PowerPoint presentation or view as a Flash Movie.

PPE: Tractor mounted, trailed and self-propelled sprayers

  • Care should be taken to avoid contamination of the driving cab. Take off potentially contaminated clothing and equipment before getting in the cab.
  • The sprayer should be fitted with compartments to seperately store contaminated and non contaminated clothing and equipment.
  • Modern sprayers are normally fitted with a clean water supply to permit washing of gloves and hands.

Note also:

  • Sprayers often fitted with low level induction bowls for product loading safety.
  • Sprayers often have remote controls such as on/off, hydraulic lift and fold – in part – to reduce operator expposure.
  • Nozzles often bayonet fitted to multi holder systems to reduce exposure time when making changes to them.

PPE requirements may be different for knapsack sprayer operators!

PPE: Mixing and loading

Boots (non absorbent shoes) - Must 
Coverall or 2 piece suit or long sleeved shirt & long trousers - Must
Gloves  -  Must
Face shield/goggles -  Must
Face mask when handling dusts - Must
Apron -  Recommended

REMEMBER

  • During mixing and loading, your hands are at highest risk for contamination
  • Always follow label recommendations

PPE: Spraying field and row crops

Spraying field crops with nozzle up to waist height:

  • Boots
  • Coverall, 2 piece suit or long sleeved shirt & long trousers

Spraying row and field crops with nozzle above waist height:

  • Boots
  • Coverall, 2 piece suit or long sleeved shirt & long trousers
  • Broad brimmed hat
  • Eye protection

REMEMBER

  • Most common route of exposure is through the skin
  • Always follow label recommendations

PPE: Cleaning spray equipment

  • Boots
  • Coverall, 2 piece suit or long sleeved shirt & long trousers
  • Gloves
  • Face shield or goggles

REMEMBER

  • Clean equipment preferably in an unsprayed area of the field just treated
  • Make sure that streams and water courses are not contaminated
  • Never pour pesticides or washings into sewers, drains, ditches or rivers
  • Always follow label recommendations

PPE: Properties of gloves

  • Gloves made of nitrile, rubber or Neoprene are suited for most crop protection products.
  • Natural rubber gloves do not provide sufficient protection. When used with solvents such as those in emulsifiable concentrates (EC’s) they become damaged.
  • Leather, or any other absorbent, gloves are not suitable

REMEMBER

  • Gloves must be worn at mixing and loading or applying granules by hand
  • Always wash gloves before taking them off
  • Replace gloves regularly

PPE: Properties of coveralls / suits

  • Two (2) piece suits, e.g. long-sleeved shirt and long trousers are generally more comfortable than coveralls in tropical agricultural use conditions
  • Use suits which allow easy movement and good air circulation
  • Ensure pockets have cover flaps to avoid spray drops/liquid entering and accumulating
  • Buttons or zips must be covered by flaps
  • Sleeves and legs should have adjustable closures
  • The textile used should be air permeable
  • Cotton or polyester/cotton blends are appropriate for most conditions of use
  • The heavier the fabric, the better inherent protection properties 
  • For woven fabrics, twills are preferable to plain weave
  • Stitches should be firm and dense to avoid penetration of spray drops/liquids
  • Wash coverall / 2 piece suit regularly, separate from family washing
  • Strictly follow washing instructions of the manufacturer to maintain protection properties
  • Limited use PPE must be replaced regularly as indicated by the manufacturer

 

  • Note:
    Exposed, unprotected skin poses highest risk when applying crop protecting chemicals
  • Using safe knapsack sprayers after loading the product – then the lower parts of the body [arms, legs, chest and abdomen] present the highest potential for exposure

PPE: Respirators and dust masks

  • Always wash gloves and hands before removing dust masks and respirators.
  • Make sure you select the appropriate respiratory protector to meet any hazards described on the products label.
  • Several recognised standards govern respiratory protectors:
    • The outer packaging should describe the designed uses.
    • Respirators fitted with replaceable filter canisters. Check that the fitted filters are suitable.
    • Change dust masks and filters in line with the manufacturers specifications or sooner or if the item becomes contaminated

Removal of PPE

  • When removing PPE when wearing gloves, always wash the gloves before starting. Remove all articles of PPE before finally removing the gloves.

Further reading

Crop Life Asia's Guidelines for personal protection when using crop protection products [pesticides] in hot climates
(1.74 Mb pdf file)

Machera, K., Goumenou, M., Kapetanakis, E., Kalamarakis, A., Glass, C.R., (2003) Determination of Potential Dermal and Inhalation Operator Exposure to Malathion in Greenhouses with the Whole Body Dosimetry Method. The Annals of Occupational Hygiene Vol. 47, No. 1.  pp. 61-70.

Websites:

Protect Equipment of Individual Protection

Personal Protective Equipment for Pesticide Work

Toxicity of Pesticides

Trainer Notes

  1. Have examples of PPE to demonstrate.
  2. Have examples of product labels with contrasting PPE needs.
  3. Demonstrate removing gloves without contaminating the skin.
  4. Demonstrate the manufacture of a face shield from a PET bottle.
  5. Make an apron from a fertiliser sack
  6. Consider demonstrations  using a water solution of a safe [food additive] dye and a leaking knapsack sprayer - to show where spray gets onto operator [wearing a white coverall and white linen gloves]. Or use UV tracer.

Questions:

  1. Explain the meanings of the WHO pictograms.
  2. What are the basic requirements when the nozzle is spraying below waist height.
  3. What steps can be taken to reduce the risk of product exposure when a) mixing and loading b) when using a hand held sprayer.
  4. What aspects of spraying increase the risk of contamination and often require extra PPE?


 
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