This original announcement was published by the EPA on March 25, 2021. Click here for more information.
From March 25 to March 31, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrates National Farmworker Awareness Week to recognize the more than two million agricultural workers that help feed our families.
The health and safety of America’s farmworker communities is a priority for EPA. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring agricultural workers and pesticide handlers are provided with access to information and health protections similar to those already afforded to workers in other industries.
EPA provides resources and conducts initiatives to protect the well-being of farmworkers and their communities, including:
- Worker protection: EPA implements programs and regulations that are critical to the protection of farmworkers. EPA’s Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) aims to prevent and reduce pesticide poisonings and injuries among agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. Less pesticide exposure means a healthier workforce and fewer lost wages, medical bills, and absences from work.
- Information accessibility: EPA’s WPS also requires that pesticide safety information be approachable and displayed for workers during their working hours. To increase accessibility, EPA developed new pesticide safety posters in multiple languages. The new WPS posters are available on EPA’s Worker Protection Standards Materials webpage.
- Risk management: EPA scientists thoroughly review pesticide data to determine possible risk to human health and the environment, ensuring that if risks of concern to workers are identified, risk management measures are put in place.
- Safety training: EPA awards grants to fund projects to educate pesticide applicators, handlers and farmworkers on working safely with, and around, pesticides. Most recently, EPA awarded a five-year cooperative agreement in the amount of $2,500,000 to the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) to support the National Farmworker Training Program. Through its previous 2015-2020 cooperative agreement with EPA, AFOP trained 184,000 farmworkers on pesticide safety.
- Community and rural outreach: The agency’s cooperative agreements help increase the reach and scope of pesticide safety educational programs and ensure tailored outreach to farmworkers and their families in rural agricultural areas. This summer, EPA plans to award an estimated $1.2 million annually through a five-year cooperative agreement to fund outreach projects that support and promote safe pesticide use including community-based projects that focus on reaching farmworkers, agricultural pesticide handlers, their families and communities.
To learn more about EPA’s efforts to protect farmworkers, pesticide handlers and their families, visit EPA’s Occupational Pesticide Safety and Health homepage.