The use of correct Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) can make a significant difference in reducing operators’ potential exposure to crop protection products. In many instances a simple long sleeve shirt, long trousers and boots have been shown to provide perfectly adequate and effective protection. The Central Sciences Laboratory in the UK and Hohenstein Institutes in Germany have confirmed that cotton and poly-cotton fabrics used in most farm work clothes are suitable raw materials. They have also highlighted opportunities for enhanced new designs and fabrics.
Developments in new PPE – such as special jackets providing extra protection to the backs and legs of a knapsack spray operator for example – are fully evaluated. Where a practical and useable advantage is offered then they are recommended and made available during operator training programmes.
Studies in South America report that before training and availability of PPE, over half of knapsack sprayer operators use no protection. After training initiatives, over 80% wear long sleeved shirts, with the vast majority wearing plastic poncho style and plastic backside covers. These are both simple measures that have been shown to reduce exposure very effectively in Brazil. Download or view training modules on PPE.