10 Tips for Spraying Safely

Posted June 13, 2024 | By: Nutrien Ag Solutions

In the busyness of spraying season, it's often easy to overlook safety risks when handling pesticides. 

Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind.

  1. Always be aware of what pesticides you are spraying. Read the label or refer to the SDS sheet to ensure you use the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) prior to going out to the field.  
  2. Always wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants no matter what the temperature is. This helps prevent the unintended contact of pesticides.
  3. Always be aware of the weather conditions. Ensure you always position yourself up wind while mixing/loading pesticides into the sprayer.
  4. Never store your PPE (goggles, gloves, respirator, spray apron/suit) in the cab of the tractor or sprayer as there can be pesticide residue on them which is allowing the operator to inhale those fumes while spraying.
  5. Always clean your PPE on a regular basis using an alcohol or bleach-based product. Carry extra new/clean PPE with you so that if it is damaged you have replacements readily available.
  6. Always triple rinse containers and do not reuse them. Dispose of them at approved disposal sites.
  7. Never blow out plugged nozzles or screens using your mouth as you are putting yourself in the direct line to get pesticide residue splashed back onto your face and into your mouth. Only use a form of compressed air. Nozzles and screens should be cleaned using water and a brush in conjunction with all PPE then blown out with a form of compressed air.
  8. Always wash your hands with soap and water before eating, drinking, chewing gum, using tobacco or touching your nose or mouth. These are the easiest ways you can ingest pesticide residue into the body. 
  9. Always carry an extra set of clean clothing with you in case you spill/splash a pesticide on yourself. If you spill pesticide on yourself, remove your clothing immediately and put in a plastic bag. Wash yourself off and put on clean clothes.  
  10. Always wash your work clothes separate from other clothing after mixing and using pesticides to prevent cross-contamination. A separate wash cycle of bleach and hot water only in the washing machine will help rinse out the contaminates if any are left.

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