What you need to do
The definition of pesticides includes plant protection products and biocides.
The placing on the market, storage and use of all pesticides are strictly controlled. The key issues are:
· Storing and transporting pesticides
· Using pesticides safely
What you need to know
Pesticides may be hazardous substances under the COSHH Regulations
Plant protection products (PPPS) form a wide group of products including fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and growth regulators.
Biocides also include a wide range of products including rodenticides, disinfectants, wood and other preservatives, biocidal paints, surface cleaners, pest control products, etc.
Only buy pesticides that have been approved for storage and use in the UK. Look for the MAFF, MAPP or HSE approval number on the label on the container. Beware of all offers of cheap pesticides, as these may be illegal unapproved products.
Storing and transporting pesticides
Store all pesticides in their original containers with the approved product labels. Never decant pesticides into drinks bottles or other similar container:
· designed to contain leakage or spillage;
· constructed of non-combustible material; and
· secured against unauthorised access.
Never carry pesticides in the cab of a tractor, self-propelled equipment or other vehicle. Use either:
· vehicle with a bulkhead between the cab and the load compartment;
· secure, leak-proof chemical container; or
· secure cabinet mounted on the outside of the vehicle or on a trailer.
Make sure you lock the vehicle or cabinet whenever you are not in sight of it.
Using pesticides safely
The decision to use pesticides should not be taken lightly, and should form part of a thorough risk assessment. You may need expert help.
Failure to use pesticides correctly can put people and the environment at risk.
· Always read and make sure you understand the instructions on the label and in any safety data sheet (SDS) or leaflet supplied with the product. Failure to follow these instructions may be an offence and may lead to prosecution.
· The code of practice for using plant protection products gives advice and guidance on how to take all reasonable precautions when storing, handling, using, keeping records and disposing of pesticides and pesticide waste. Make sure you follow the advice in the code. Failure to do so is not an offence in itself, but the code is statutory and can be used in evidence against you if there is a prosecution.
· Make sure you use any personal protective equipment identified in the instructions.
· Only spray when weather conditions are suitable to reduce spray drift.
· Try to avoid walking through treated areas.
· Do not eat, drink or smoke when applying pesticides.
· Wash off splashes from the skin and clothing immediately, and wash before eating, drinking, smoking or taking a rest break.
· Do not use faulty application equipment.
· Do not overfill sprayer tanks and secure all caps and lids before use.
· Keep a record of all pesticide use.
· Report all suspected cases of poisoning or other adverse reactions, so they can be thoroughly investigated.