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July 29, 2011

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Protection levels defined for pesticide work

Farmers and agricultural workers should benefit from a new ISO standard on protective clothing in terms of reducing the health risks associated with using liquid pesticides.

The standard should help test laboratories, fabric and garment manufacturers, manufacturers of pesticide products, trainers, and regulators to make decisions regarding protective clothing based on maintaining and improving protection against pesticide products.

Pesticides are commonly used in farming against insects, diseases and weeds, and, in some cases, they can pose a health risk if users do not wear adequate protective clothing.

The new ISO standard 27065:2011 defines specific protection levels, allowing pesticide manufacturers to indicate on the product label the required level of protection. It also allows workwear manufacturers to produce, certify and sell protective clothing with defined protection levels, and enables agricultural workers to purchase protective clothing according to pesticide manufacturers’ instructions on usage.

The standard defines three levels of protective clothing with specified resistance to penetration by pesticide products:

  • Level 1: the potential risk of contamination is relatively low. The performance requirements for level-1 garments have been developed in view of low-spray drift landing on the operator, e.g. from tractor-boom sprayers;
  • Level 2: the potential risk of contamination is higher but not so high as to require the use of liquid-tight materials;
  • Level 3: the potential risk of contamination requires use of garments made with liquid-tight materials. This level is suitable for high-exposure scenarios where it has been determined that garments that prevent liquids from penetrating/permeating provide adequate protection.

Helmut Eichinger, chair of ISO/TC94/SC 13, said: “[The new standard] will help pesticide users to be better protected, and improve quality and performances of protective clothing, as well put safer protective clothing on the market. It will also contribute to reducing the risk to occupational health for operators and workers who use liquid pesticides.”

ISO 27065:2011, Protective clothing – Performance requirements for protective clothing worn by operators applying liquid pesticides is available from ISO national member institutes. Priced copies may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, through the ISO Store, or by e-mailing [email protected]

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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