Oregon OSHA Issues Proposal to Change Pesticide Application Regulations

Legal Alert

Oregon OSHA has proposed to adopt changes to its rules regarding the application of pesticides by agricultural employers. The new rules would:

  • Create Application Exclusion Zones (“AEZs”), from which non-protected handlers must be excluded;
  • Impose requirements for protecting enclosed agricultural structures within an AEZ and, in some instances, require evacuation of agricultural structures within an AEZ;
  • Require employers to provide employees information regarding the means of protecting enclosed agricultural structures and information regarding pending applications; and
  • Require employers to ensure that pesticide spray applications do not drift and make contact with labor housing areas or other structures used by employees.

The precise requirements imposed by the rules depend upon a number of factors, as summarized in the following chart:

Application Method Air Blast or Aerial Spraying Ground Boom/Backpack Sprayer Any Other
Spray Quality Smaller than Medium Any size Medium or Larger
Respirator Required on Label? Yes No N/A N/A
Size of AEZ 150 feet 100 feet 25 feet N/A
Stay or Evacuate AEZ? Evacuate Stay or Evacuate Stay or Evacuate N/A


Oregon OSHA has scheduled four public hearings on the proposed rule, and it will accept comment on the rule until December 15, 2017. Oregon OSHA anticipates adopting a final version of this rule in December.

For more information on the proposed rule and to learn more about the opportunities to become involved in the rulemaking process, visit Oregon OSHA’s web page for the proposed rule by clicking on this link.



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