Pesticide Registration Toolkit

Worker hazard assessment

Principle

This assessment evaluates the hazard of the formulated product to agricultural workers. Workers are persons who, as part of their job, enter an area that has been treated previously with a pesticide (e.g. for pruning, cutting, picking, harvesting, pest inspection) or who handle a crop that has been treated with a pesticide (e.g. bundling, packing).
 
A hazard assessment is based on the intrinsic toxicity of the product and does not take into account the degree of exposure of the worker to the pesticide.
 
A hazard assessment consists of hazard identification and hazard characterization, which is described in more detail the Hazard identification and characterization method
 

Procedures

See the Hazard identification and characterization method for more information on the hazard assessment procedures.
 
A hazard assessment for workers will generally focus on the following activities:
  • Working in a sprayed crop (e.g. harvesting, inspecting) --> involves fresh or dried residues of the applied pesticide
  • Working with a sprayed crop (e.g. bundling of flowers) --> involves fresh or dried residues of the applied pesticide
 
The most important route of exposure of agricultural workers is dermal; exposure by inhalation can be relevant shortly after application and, in particular, in greenhouses. Oral exposure for workers is generally assumed to be negligible in comparison with dermal and inhalation.
 
Many agricultural workers will be in contact with pesticides for prolonged periods of time. In addition to acute hazards, chronic hazards should therefore also be taken into account.
 

Interpretation of the outcome