|Safe Use of Pesticides (ILO, 1985, 52 p.)|
Over recent years there have been several suggestions that the International Labour Office (ILO) should prepare a series of basic guidelines on the safe handling of pesticides in agriculture. Furthermore, the need for such a document was specifically expressed at the 1964 ILO Meeting of Experts on Safety and Health in Agriculture and at the Fourth Session of the Joint ILO/WHO (World Health Organisation) Committee on Occupational Health, 1962.
In 1969 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) published a set of guidelines for legislation on the registration of pesticides for marketing and sales, which had been prepared with the collaboration of the ILO and the WHO. This document laid upon the producer the obligation of indicating the toxicological action of a pesticide and the necessary safety measures to deal with the health hazards involved in the use of the product.
The present guidelines, which were prepared following preliminary consultations with FAO and WHO and circulated in draft form for the observations of members of the ILO Panel of Consultants on Safety and Health in Agriculture (representing government, employer and worker circles), provide guidance on the safe use of pesticides in agricultural work. It is hoped that the information will be of value to persons directly engaged in the handling and use of these substances as well as to persons having responsibility for organising their application.
General principles are given and followed by more detailed safety requirements for the various pesticide application techniques. Finally the medical aspects of pesticides are considered. It is recommended that this publication be read in conjunction with the chapters on dangerous substances and on personal protective equipment contained in the ILO Code of Practice on Safety and Health in Agricultural Work, published in 1965 and in the ILO Guide to Safety in Agriculture, published in 1969.
The Office realises that it is difficult to cover fully in one volume the whole range of hazards encountered in the application of pesticides. It is hoped, however, that the information presented will improve and extend knowledge of these hazards and the understanding of the necessary preventive and protective measures. Suggestions from users of the guidelines on ways and means of improving it would be useful for any future work on its revision.