Some Notes on PPE for Sprayer Training Candidates
This area is often confusing, and sometimes stressful, for candidates arriving at their pesticides training course. So we thought a few guidelines for prospective candidates might be useful, starting from the floor and moving up.
Probably the most straight forward: rubber boots for knapsack sprayer and rubber safety boots (with a safety toecap) for tractor or ATV mounted or trailed sprayers. It is important they are not lined as a furry lining is harder to clean and absorbs a chemical spillage. Even if it’s the depth of winter, don’t turn up with your furry lined rigger boots. Another tip, the assessors like to see the boots under the leg of the coveralls: this reduce the risk of spilling anything inside the boots.
The least straight forward: You really can’t use your John Deere boiler suit for pesticide use. I’ve heard people argue that the chemicals used are heavily diluted and the risk minimal, but using cotton or polyester, absorbent, overalls is not ‘best practice’. More importantly, to successfully complete your Pesticides training and assessment, you need to demonstrate working with concentrate chemicals (albeit simulated) and that is the danger area. Successful completion of the training will allow the candidate to go out and spray a range of chemicals so you need to be prepared.
You can spend a, relatively, large amount of money on heavy duty, reusable, spray suits that can be washed down and used many times. If you intend doing a lot of spraying it might be worth it, but they are, as a rule, hot and sweaty. A disposable coverall, can be used several times if not damaged and if allowed to dry between uses. Most of the disposable suits can be bought in materials that covers European Standard (CEN) Type 5 and Type 6 suits. They are inexpensive so you wont be heart broken if you tear one and have to dispose of it, but they are remarkably robust. That said, it’s better to buy them too large than too small: I have worn a suit too small, bent over, and torn out the rear seam, not a pretty sight.
The disposable suits are readily available from Screwfix or similar suppliers. The reusable available from more specialist outlets such as ADH Baseline all of whom have good websites.
Everybody struggles with the checks and maintenance in gloves but you need to practice and success requires comfortable gloves that fit. The Code of Practice is specific: Nitrile gloves at 0.5mm thin and 300mm long, like the boots, unlined. Don’t buy the first pair you see, the night before your training course: have a look at what is available check your correct size and buy the best you can afford. If they are uncomfortable and you can’t work in them you wont wear them, which will leave you open to failing the assessment and exposure to chemicals outside the classroom. A wide selection of gloves are readily available from a variety of suppliers and I have even seen them in Sainsbury’s.
It is common for candidates to turn up with a colleagues face shield that has been kicked around in the bottom of a van and so scratched as to render visibility impossible. I could bang on about the the Management of the Health and Safety Act requiring PPE to be supplied by the employers, looked after by the employee, and inspected for suitability before every use, but that would be boring. The requirements for a face shield are that it offers full face protection and visibility. For training and assessment purposes it needs to offer full face protection from splashes and sprays. Candidates are nervous which causes ‘misting’ in the face mask, try and get a well ventilated version.
Respirators are not required during training and assessment.
If you need any advice give us a call on 01189 762901, we’d be happy to help.