What safety measures should you take when using pesticides?

Pesticides by their very nature kill pests but are you aware that if you do not take great care when you are using or handling pesticides they can kill you too! Even something like the common weed killers we use in the garden regularly can be fatal. They all come heavily labelled with cautionary instructions, but how many of us bother to sit down and read them before we go outside and declare war on our bindweed or ground elder? (Which, incidentally, has been a real nightmare this year.)

In the area of farming and horticulture health and safety the rules and regulations are far more stringent:

  1. Some pesticides can cause blindness – please use adequate protective eye wear in many cases a full face shield would be most appropriate.
  2. Other systems and properties can be corrosive and extreme exposure can lead to cracking of the skin.
  3. There are a range of appropriate safety gloves from latex through to heavy duty.
  4. Some pesticides are extremely flammable and should be kept well away from naked flames.
  5. Dosage should be understood and suitable procedures for dilution if necessary should be available for anyone preparing a chemical for use in the field.

What is the correct manner of disposal for pesticides?

  1. If, for instance you are farming and using pesticides in large quantities then you will have the problem of the disposal of chemical containers and drums. This is a touchy subject for many as the disposal of hazardous wastes is very expensive.
  2. There are many farm plastics recycling schemes will take in your clean containers but please be sure to read the data sheet before disposing of any excess liquids as the fines for doing so irresponsibly can be very large.
  3. Make sure that the person or company who is uplifting your waste plastics has the correct waste carriers licence you have the duty of care when disposing of material and it is the responsibility of both parties to know what type of material is being disposed of. A transfer of waste requires the signature of two parties so please be careful to complete all the necessary paperwork correctly two minutes well spent could save you from getting into trouble with a farm assurance inspection or a visit form an environmental officer.

Please read here for more information.

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posted on August 5, 2013
in In the News
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