Safety and security of pesticides are the responsibility of the applicator from the moment the applicator takes possession of the chemicals until they are used or disposed.
Leaving pesticides unsecured in a vehicle where a child, unauthorized person, vandal, or an animal can get into them and suffer or cause an exposure is negligent.
1Keep it locked up
Always lock pesticide storage cabinets, closets, rooms and buildings. Restrict access to a storage area to only essential persons. Keep a list of who has keys to the storage areas.
2Keep it separate
Store pesticides in a separate building designed for chemical storage. If the storage area must be inside a larger structure, provide access to the room from a separate outside door.
Be aware of the potential for siphoning or otherwise stealing pesticides from filled tanks such as mini-bulk equipment. Tanks should be secured or disabled so that unauthorized persons cannot access the material inside the containers. Consider installing security lighting, an alarm systems or using a guard dog.
Post signs on the door, building, or fence that indicate pesticide storage, such as “Danger Pesticides — Unauthorized Persons Keep Out!”
Post NO SMOKING signs, and do not allow smoking in or around the facility.
Have a basic first aid kit containing information on pesticide poisonings and emergency medical information. Also, post the name, address, and telephone number for two contact people, in addition to at least two emergency response phone numbers — local fire and police, Poison Center (1-800-222-1222), etc.
Have a nearby source of water to clean skin, eyes and other exposures. Use personal protective equipment (PPE) to decrease potential exposure.
Conduct regularly scheduled safety and maintenance inspections of the storage unit and PPE.
Source: Pesticide storage and security, Penn State Extension.
Next week: Safe storage practices.
Last week: How to build a pesticide storage unit.
(Farm and Dairy is featuring a series of “101” columns throughout the year to help young and beginning farmers master farm living. From finances to management to machinery repair and animal care, farmers do it all.)
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