Safety course needed for pesticides

You must have a valid Grower Pesticide Safety Course (GPSC) certificate before you can purchase, apply, store, and/or dispose of any Schedule 1, 2, or 5 pesticide on the land your farm.
In addition, all agricultural workers who handle and apply Schedule 2 or 5 pesticides either must be certified through the GPSC or they must be trained assistants who work under the supervision of a certified grower.
TA training must be renewed every five years.
All GPSC exams are open-book and the pass mark is 75 percent. The cost for all certification options is $85, payable to the “University of Guelph.”
There are two training options for TA’s:
•Assistants may attend the GPSC and choose not to write the exam (the Ontario Ministry of the Environment recognizes course attendance as approved training); or
•Assistants may be trained on the farm, by a certified grower who has completed a half-day Trained Assistant Instructor course.
Certified growers can register for a Trained Assistant Instructor course by calling the Ontario Pesticide Education Program (OPEP) at 1-800-652-8573. The fee for this course is $65, payable to the University of Guelph.
You must renew your TA instructor qualification every five years.
Your $65 fee also covers the training kit that you will use when you train your assistants. Kits include:
•Trained Assistant Instructor Guide;
•illustrated flip chart and easel;
•TA student workbooks; and
•samples of protective clothing and equipment for demonstration purposes.
Employers complete a training checklist for each employee they train. The employer then forwards the checklist and a $25 registration fee for each TA trained to OPEP at Ridgetown College.
OPEP issues the TA wallet card.
Trained assistants may mix, load, or apply a Schedule 2 or 5 pesticide only while under the supervision of a certified grower. There are a number of duties which a TA may not do. For Schedule 2 or 5 pesticides, trained assistants may not:
•purchase, select, or recommend the type of product;
•select or recommend the rate of application;
•select the means of storage or disposal;
•calibrate equipment for an extermination; or
•select the means of disposal for empty containers.
If you are a certified grower, you are responsible for all pesticide handling and use on your farm. When you supervise a trained assistant, you are responsible for all pesticide work that TA performs.
If you need more information about TA training or the Grower Pesticide Safety Course, call the OPEP at Ridgetown College (1-800-652-8573) or check the website at
Dates to remember
•Feb. 4—Farm Safety Committee annual meeting, Emo Inn; and
•Feb. 10—Grower Pesticide Safety Course, 8:45 a.m. (exam only, 3 p.m.) Call 1-800-652-8573 to register.

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