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Understanding Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for Agricultural Workers
Understanding the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is essential for a safe and successful cannabis industry career. Learn more and get certified!

Hemp Temps University

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June 27, 2024

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HTU | Lesson

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Mastering the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for a Safer Cannabis Industry Career

If you’re looking to build a career in the cannabis industry, understanding the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is essential. This regulation is crucial for safeguarding agricultural workers from pesticide exposure. Here’s an overview of what you need to know about the Worker Protection Standard, which is part of the Cannabis Regulations and Compliance module at Hemp Temps University.

The Importance of the Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is not just a regulatory requirement; it’s a commitment to the safety and health of those working in agriculture. For anyone seeking a career in the cannabis industry, understanding the WPS is fundamental. This federal regulation, overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is designed to minimize the risk of pesticide exposure for agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. Let’s dive deeper into what the Worker Protection Standard entails and why it’s so important for your career in the cannabis industry.

The Scope of the Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

The WPS applies to all agricultural establishments where pesticides are used in the production of agricultural plants. This includes farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses. It covers a wide range of activities, from planting and harvesting to maintaining plants in nurseries and greenhouses. For those working in cannabis cultivation, understanding these protections is crucial for ensuring a safe working environment.

Certification Types: Worker vs. Handler

There are two main types of WPS certification: worker and handler. While both certifications are important, obtaining a handler certification is particularly valuable. This certification not only broadens your understanding of pesticide safety but also opens up more job opportunities within the cannabis industry. Handlers work directly with pesticides, mixing, loading, and applying them, as well as cleaning equipment. This role requires comprehensive training to ensure safe practices and compliance with regulations.

The Certification Process

The WPS certification process is structured to ensure thorough understanding and compliance. At Hemp Temps University, the certification involves instructional videos and a comprehensive seven-chapter course delivered via web conference. This structured approach ensures that you receive the necessary training to understand the Worker Protection Standard and how to apply it in real-world scenarios.

Detailed Responsibilities Under the WPS

Employer Responsibilities: Employers must ensure that their workers are trained annually on pesticide safety. They are required to display information about pesticide applications, including the name of the pesticide, the active ingredient, the time and date of the application, and the re-entry interval (REI). Employers must also provide decontamination supplies, such as water, soap, and towels, and ensure that emergency medical information is readily available.

Worker Responsibilities: Workers need to follow the training they receive, which includes wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), understanding the signs and symptoms of pesticide poisoning, and knowing what to do in case of exposure. Workers should also be aware of the REI, which is the period after pesticide application during which entry into the treated area is restricted.

The Role of Pesticides in Agriculture

Pesticides are essential for protecting crops from pests and diseases, but they also pose risks if not handled properly. Pesticides can be systemic, meaning they are absorbed by plants, or contact, meaning they remain on the surface. Understanding the different types of pesticides and their application methods is a key part of WPS training.

Minimizing Exposure Risks

To protect against pesticide exposure, workers should use PPE such as gloves, goggles, and protective clothing. Washing thoroughly after work and avoiding bringing pesticide residues home are also critical practices. Employers must ensure that all safety procedures are followed and that workers have access to decontamination supplies.

Emergency Procedures

In case of pesticide exposure, quick action is essential. Workers should immediately rinse the affected area with water and seek medical attention if symptoms appear. Employers are responsible for ensuring that transportation to medical facilities is available and that medical personnel have the necessary information about the pesticide involved.

The WPS includes protections against retaliation, ensuring that workers can report violations or participate in inspections without fear of retribution. This legal framework is vital for maintaining a safe and fair working environment. Employers must comply with all aspects of the WPS, and violations can result in significant penalties.

The Dynamic Nature of Cannabis Regulations

The legal landscape for cannabis is continually evolving, with new laws and regulations emerging at federal, state, and local levels. Staying informed about these changes is crucial for compliance. By engaging in ongoing training and certification, you can stay ahead of regulatory developments and ensure that your practices meet the latest standards.

Enhancing Career Prospects with Worker Protection Standard Certification

Achieving WPS certification not only ensures compliance with safety standards but also enhances your career prospects in the cannabis industry. Employers value certified handlers for their knowledge and commitment to safety. By completing this certification, you demonstrate your professionalism and readiness to contribute to a safe and compliant workplace.

Moving Forward with worker protection standard

Completing the Worker Protection Standard training and obtaining your certification is a critical step toward a successful career in the cannabis industry. At Hemp Temps University, we provide the resources and support you need to achieve certification and excel in your role. Schedule your WPS certification web conference today and take the next step in your professional journey.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the Worker Protection Standard is essential for ensuring safety and compliance in the agricultural sector, particularly within the cannabis industry. By committing to WPS certification, you not only protect yourself and your colleagues but also contribute to the integrity and sustainability of the industry. Take action now to secure your future in the cannabis sector by completing your WPS certification.

Completing this and all other lessons just takes a little time and attention. Before you know it, you will have gained all the necessary knowledge and skills for placement in the best Cannabis Jobs available today!

At Hemp Temps University, we emphasize the importance of responsibility and professionalism. By familiarizing yourself with the WPS and pursuing certification, you’re taking a significant step towards a successful and compliant career in the cannabis industry. 

Schedule your WPS certification web conference today to further your knowledge and compliance in this critical area. 

Get started

If learning these skills, techniques, and terminology peaks your interest you will be excited to know we have a plethora of online lessons just like this one to prepare you for the jobs available on the HempTemps App.

Getting started for job seekers is as easy as creating a social media account. We have an orientation video to guide you through the process and once complete you can begin learning everything there is to know about just about every Cannabis Job out there. After completing the mandatory lessons you can start working!

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