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Pesticides: Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products in Scotland

DescriptionThe Code of Practice is aimed at all professional users of plant protection products (pesticides) in Scotland. It is an important source of practical advice on how to use pesticides safely and, by doing so, to meet the legal obligations which cover the use of pesticides. The Code replaces 3 previous codes covering use on Farms and Small Holdings (Green Code), in Amenity and Industrial Areas (Orange Code) and in Forestry (Blue Code).
Official Print Publication DateJanuary 2007
Website Publication DateJanuary 17, 2007


This Code of Practice has been prepared jointly by the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department and the Health and Safety Commission ( HSC)

ISBN 0 7559 5093 3

This document is also available in pdf format (2.1MB)


Part A Emergency Procedures

A1 Action Plans
A2 Personal contamination
A3 Dealing with spillage
A4 Suspected animal poisoning
A5 Fire

Part B Foreword

Part C Notices

C1 General notice under food and environment protection act 1985 and Health and safety at Work etc act 1974
C2 Notice of issuing this code under section 17 of the food and environment protection act 1985
C3 Notice of this code being approved by the Health and safety Commission under section 16 of the Health and safety at Work etc act 1974

Section 1 Introduction

1.1 How do I decide if it is necessary to use a pesticide?
1.2 What advice is given in this code?
1.3 What does this code cover?
1.4 What is the legal status of this code?
1.5 Who should read this code?
1.6 What other advice is available?
1.7 special terms
1.8 Cross compliance

Section 2 Training and Certification

2.1 Who must be trained in using pesticides?
2.2 What training do I need?
2.3 When would I need a certificate of competence?
2.4 How can I use pesticides without a certificate of competence?
2.5 Where do I get certificates of competence?
2.6 What training and certificates are needed for salespeople, advisers, managers and people who draft contracts?
2.7 Continuing Professional Development ( CPD)

Section 3 Planning and Preparation

3.1 Making the risk of using pesticides as low as possible
3.1.1 Considering whether to use a pesticide
3.1.2 What to do if you decide that you need to use a pesticide
3.1.3 Choosing the right pesticide

3.2 The product label
3.2.1 Explanation
3.2.2 Other information
3.2.3 Checking the approval
3.2.4 The label
3.2.5 Off-label approvals
3.2.6 Treated seeds, cuttings and so on
3.2.7 Applying a pre-prepared pesticide

3.3 Storing Pesticides
3.3.1 Information source
3.3.2 How should I store pesticides?
3.3.3 What extra conditions apply to mobile stores?
3.3.4 Moving pesticides into, and out of, the store
3.3.5 Do not leave pesticide containers unattended

3.4 The COSHH assessment
3.4.1 When do COSHH regulations apply?
3.4.2 When is an assessment suitable and sufficient?
3.4.3 Finding out about the dangers
3.4.4 Assessing the risks, who might be harmed and how?
3.4.5 Deciding what needs to be done to control exposure
3.4.6 Recording the assessment
3.4.7 Reviewing the assessment

3.5 Preventing people being exposed to pesticides at work
3.5.1 COSHH
3.5.2 How can exposure be prevented or adequately controlled?
3.5.3 Measures for preventing exposure to pesticides
3.5.4 Measures for controlling exposure to pesticides
3.5.5 Using Personal Protective Equipment ( PPE)
3.5.6 Suitable personal protection equipment
3.5.7 Maintaining control measures
3.5.8 Welfare facilities
3.5.9 What you need to do

3.6 Monitoring exposure and health surveillance 49
3.6.1 When is it necessary to monitor exposure to pesticides? 49
3.6.2 What is health surveillance? 49
3.6.3 When is health surveillance necessary? 50
3.6.4 What else do employers need to do? 51
3.6.5 What about sudden illness? 51

3.7 Protecting the public 52
3.7.1 Neighbouring property 52
3.7.2 When must notice be given? 53
3.7.3 Giving notice to bystanders and occupiers of neighbouring property 53
3.7.4 Public access rights 55
3.7.5 Who should I tell if there is an incident involving pesticides? 56
3.7.6 Further information 57

3.8 Protecting wildlife and the environment 57
3.8.1 Assessing possible negative effects 57
3.8.2 How can wildlife and plants be protected? 58
3.8.3 Specially designated areas 59
3.8.4 How can wild birds and mammals be protected? 59
3.8.5 How can bees be protected? 60
3.8.6 Other beneficial species 61
3.8.7 Livestock 61
3.8.8 Fish and other aquatic life 61
3.8.9 Wildlife incident investigation scheme (Wiis) 62
3.8.10 Preventing pesticides from contaminating surface water and groundwater 63
3.8.11 Controlling weeds in or near water 66
3.8.12 Applying pesticides from an aircraft 67
3.8.13 Invasive weeds 67

Section 4 Working with Pesticides

4.1 Introduction to guidance
4.2 Preparing to apply pesticides
4.2.1 Checks to carry out
4.2.2 Dangerous practices
4.3 Handling pesticide containers
4.4 Transporting Pesticides
4.4.1 The law
4.4.2 General precautions when transporting pesticides
4.4.3 Transporting pesticides inside a vehicle
4.4.4 Loading and unloading pesticides
4.4.5 Further action
4.5 Filling equipment
4.5.1 Where should I fill the equipment used to apply pesticides?
4.5.2 What precautions should I take when filling equipment?
4.6 Methods of applying pesticide
4.6.1 Choosing a method
4.6.2 How you should apply the pesticide to the area to be treated
4.6.3 Which application methods need special precautions?
4.6.4 Ground-based reduced-volume spraying
4.6.5 Fogs, mists and smokes in enclosed spaces
4.6.6 Fumigants
4.6.7 Dusts, granules, pellets and baits
4.6.8 Using vehicles without cabs
4.6.9 Paved areas and public footpaths
4.6.10 Using hand-held equipment
4.6.11 Seed treatments
4.6.12 Dipping and drenching treatments
4.6.13 Weed control in or near water
4.6.14 Applying pesticide from an aircraft
4.7 Spray drift
4.7.1 The effects of spray drift
4.7.2 What causes spray drift?
4.7.3 Weather conditions
4.7.4 How can off-target drift be prevented or controlled?
4.8 After working with pesticides
4.8.1 What you need to do after you have applied a pesticide

Section 5 Disposing of Pesticide Waste

5.1 Handling and disposal guidance
5.2 Change to the law for farmers, crofters and growers
5.3 How to reduce the amount of waste you produce
5.4 How to dispose of unwanted pesticide concentrates and ready-to-use formulations
5.5 How to dispose of dilute pesticide waste
5.6 How to dispose of waste pesticide containers
5.7 How to dispose of other pesticide waste materials
5.8 Where you can get more information

Section 6 Keeping Records

6.1 Record guidance
6.2 Storage records
6.3 Records of pesticide treatments
6.4 COSHH assessment records
6.5 Records of environmental risk assessments
6.6 Records of monitoring exposure
6.7 Maintenance records of exposure control measures
6.8 Health surveillance records
6.9 Disposal records


Annex A Laws referred to in this Code
Annex B Bibliography
Annex C Glossary of terms used in this Code
Glossary 1 this glossary defines words used in this code.
Glossary 2 the definitions in glossary 2 relate to equipment and methods of applying pesticides. They are loosely based on the NPTC assessment schedules for certificates of competence in using pesticides safely.
Annex D Addresses
Annex E Guidance on using personal protective equipment
Annex F Record sheet for pesticide treatments
Annex G Applying pesticides from an aircraft
Annex H Things to consider when preparing and managing contracts for applying pesticides in amenity areas
Annex I Things to consider when using pesticides in high-security or high-risk amenity and industrial areas

Contributors of photographs

List of tables and decision trees

Table 1 What does this code cover?
Table 2 Subjects you need to know about (training)
Flow chart 1 Is a certificate needed for the product I plan to use?
Flow chart 2 Do I need a certificate?
Table 3 Measures for protecting bees
Table 4 Options for dealing with drainage and run-off from dedicated mixing and loading areas
Table 5 Action when filling equipment
Table 6 A guide to wind speed and using field-crop sprayers with conventional nozzles
Table 7 Summary of records to be kept