Agricultural chemicals and waste management

Personal protective equipment

Working in agriculture presents various hazards. The level of noise, the concentration of dust, gases and noxious liquids that workers come into contact with on a daily basis make it necessary to provide appropriate personal protective equipment where hazards cannot be completely removed.

Hazards in the application of fertilisers arise when preparing and applying liquid fertilisers (proper clothing, hand and face protection are essential), and even more so when applying dusty fertilisers such as oxide lime. In this case, it is also necessary to protect the respiratory system of the applicator.

The greatest danger to applicators is posed by toxic agents of various applications, especially when measuring and pouring them in a concentrated state. The use of diluted formulations (e.g. in the course of plant protection treatments) is generally less hazardous, and the danger increases during spray drift or if proper safeguards and handling rules are not observed when cleaning up surfaces of accidentally spilled or spilled plant protection products, repairing and maintaining chemical treatment equipment, or as a result of premature entry into sprayed areas.

Special protective equipment protects against exposure to harmful chemicals. Although the use of special clothing and protective equipment can be inconvenient and make work more difficult, everything must be done to protect yourself and other workers from the harmful effects of plant protection products. The type of protective clothing and equipment depends on the work being carried out and the type of chemical used. The use of toxic agents requires full protection, including the use of a protective mask (respirator), especially during the preparation of the application liquid and the disposal of residues, and sometimes also during treatment. Protective clothing should be clean and made of a tight, non-absorbent fabric or waterproof material. Coveralls, both disposable and reusable, vary in durability and the degree to which they provide adequate protection. They are usually sufficient when dealing with most plant protection products, however, waterproof aprons or coveralls should be used when pouring or mixing concentrates and using toxic products. Waterproof clothing should be used whenever mist or spray may wet work clothes or coveralls. Impermeable aprons and clothing should be made of rubberised or synthetic materials resistant to the solvents used in plant protection product formulations, and the apron should cover the body from the shoulders to the boots.

More detailed instructions for PPE use are provided by manufacturers on their websites, such as: