All Round Safety Talk About Pesticide Risk Compliancy

Saturday 1 January 2022, 4:15AM
By Beckie Wright

Exposure to pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers are common health hazards on farms.  There is considerable evidence that long term, low-level exposure to agrichemicals can be toxic to the nervous system — affecting mental processing and memory and increasing the risk of anxiety and depression. 

Pesticides are considered hazardous substances due to the combination of chemicals they contain that can cause serious harm to humans. Exactly what hazards they present vary by product which is why you need to get a copy of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to check for the hazards your pesticides present and protect yourself accordingly. 

The Health and Safety at Work Act requires PCBUs to take all practicable steps to ensure the health and safety of workers and the public. As David Lawson says, “All pesticides are designed to kill. It’s only safe if it’s used correctly.” 

Some key considerations for businesses working with pesticides will include creating and maintaining an inventory of all your hazardous substances, including where they are stored, what hazard classes they are and what quantities you have on site, and ensuring your hazardous substances are stored properly.  Toxic substances such as pesticides should be stored in a lockable cabinet the meets the standard as set out in AS/NZS 4452 “Storage and Handling of Toxic Substances.” 

A safety shower and eyewash facility must be provided within 7m of where toxic substances are opened ref AS/NZS 4452, 4.4.1, and you must ensure the correct PPE is provided that is suitable for the hazardous substances you’re working with.  This should include appropriate chemical protective clothing, chemical gloves, respirator, and eye/face protection. 

You also need to take steps to minimise spray drift and keep unprotected people away during spraying operations, and regularly monitor the health of people who come into contact with your hazardous substances. 

If you or your customers need additional advice about what products are recommended for pesticides, you can get in touch with one of All Round Safety’s technical experts, so with this in mind, please take a minute to find out more about waterproof plants and  safety helmets by visiting the website at