Pesticide Safety—Blueberry Hill Farm
Protection of employees and visitors from pesticide exposure is a high priority of Blueberry Hill Farm. As a site for experimental study of blueberry production systems, Blueberry Hill Farm has faculty, staff, and students working on diversity of research projects in close proximity. Blueberry Hill Farm also may have a substantial flow of visitors associated with faculty, staff and student activities or as participants in educational events.
Unlike typical farms, there may be a number of pesticides applied or under study at various locations at Blueberry Hill Farm including pesticides not labeled for general use. To maintain a safe and productive working environment, it is essential that all faculty, staff, and students adhere to all policies and protocols on pesticide use.
Blueberry Hill Farm complies with the University of Maine Worker Protection for Pesticide Exposure (http://www2.umaine.edu/SEM/Documents/Programs/Worker Protection for Pesticide Exposure.pdf), which meets federal and state regulatory requirements for pesticide use in a workplace. Blueberry Hill Farm has additional policies to meet specific local needs at the facility. A complete statement of policies and procedures can be found in the Blueberry Hill Farm Policies and Procedures (link).
This pesticide safety policy has been developed with input from the Blueberry Hill Farm Advisory Committee. The farm superintendent is responsible for ensuring compliance with policies and procedures of the University of Maine; College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture; and Blueberry Hill Farm.
Policies with a Special Emphasis
Blueberry Hill Farm places a special emphasis on increasing awareness of farm users to the policies and procedures listed below. Please see the Blueberry Hill Farm Policies and Procedures (link) for complete information.
- Posting—Pesticide use in the field must be posted at the time of pesticide application. At Blueberry Hill Farm there are specific requirements for posting at experimental plots and gates.
- Pesticide application record—Information on pesticide applications on the record board at the main office building must remain for 30 days. New applications must have a complete new record. Erasing parts of entries to “update” them prior to completion of the 30-day requirement is a violation of state regulations.
- Pesticide-storage shed security—The building must remain locked at all times when not attended. If there are building issues that prevent securing the building, the user must contact the Blueberry Hill staff immediately. Overnight or other long-term storage of pesticides at other locations is prohibited. Temporary storage during application processes is allowed at secured or supervised locations.
- Labeling—Pesticides should never be in a container in the storage building, laboratories or field that lacks a complete secondary label.
- Training—Faculty and project/program directors are responsible for ensuring that their staffs, students, and visitors are aware of training requirements required before undertaking activities at the farm.
- Reporting problems—Faculty, staff, and other farm users are required to report incidents of noncompliance with university, college, and farm pesticide policies to the superintendent. The superintendent must take action to eliminate immediate hazards and then work with the farm user to identify corrective actions or alternatives to meet project or activity needs. The superintendent must report incidents of noncompliance to the immediate supervisor of the farm user. If issues are not easily resolved the superintendent or farm user should contact the associate director.