Restricted-Entry Intervals

Agricultural Tailgate Safety Training


To observe and know why it is important to observe restricted-entry intervals.

Trainer's Note:

In 1992 the EPA revised the Worker Protection Standard for agricultural pesticides. As a result, employers should benefit from a reduction of lost work time, reduced medical expenses, and increased productivity of workers. It may be helpful to review the modules Pesticide Exposure and Reading Pesticide Labels along with this module, and to also have examples of warning signs used for REI notification.


The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) offers the opportunity for growers, workers, and handlers to help protect themselves and one another from pesticides. Compliance with WPS is expected to avert 80 percent of the adverse health effects of pesticides. Restricted-Entry Intervals (REIs) is part of the revised WPS.

REIs are established for all pesticides used in agricultural production. The REI for each pesticide is based on the product toxicity. Read the pesticide label for Toxicity and REI hours (refer to module: Reading Pesticide Labels). REIs range from 12 to 72 hours.

Another important part of WPS which is related to REIs is the notification about pesticide applications. Workers must be notified about treated areas so they can avoid inadvertent exposures. In most cases, employers can notify workers either orally or by posting warning signs at all the entrances to the pesticide-treated area. You should always check the label, as some product labels will require both oral and posted notification.

Early-Entry Into Restricted Areas:

In general, workers may not enter a treated area during a Restricted-Entry Interval. Early entry that will result in contact with surfaces treated with pesticides is permitted in only three work situations:

  • Short-term tasks that last less than one hour and do not involve hand labor.
  • Emergency tasks that take place because of an agricultural emergency.
  • Specific tasks approved by EPA through a formal exception process.

Additional training requirements for early-entry workers are required by the WPS. Early-entry workers must receive pesticide safety training for workers before entering a treated area on the agricultural establishment during an REI. The 5-day grace period for training that applies to other agricultural workers does not apply to early-entry workers. Along with the basic pesticide safety training, early-entry workers must also be given specific information and instructions on certain tasks as stated below:

  • How to put on, use, and take off the early-entry personal protective equipment (PPE) that is specified on the product label for early-entry tasks.
  • The importance of washing thoroughly after removing PPE.
  • How to prevent, recognize, and give correct first aid for heat illness.

Early-entry workers must also be informed, in a manner that they can understand, the safety information and instructions on the pesticide label to which the REI applies, including:

  • Human hazard statements and precautions.
  • First aid.
  • Signs and symptoms of poisoning.
  • PPE required for early entry.
  • Any other precautions or instructions related to safe use or early entry.

Review the Following Points

  • REIs are a way to reduce pesticide exposure.
  • REIs are established for all pesticides used in agricultural production.
  • Workers must be notified about areas treated with pesticides, so they can avoid inadvertent exposure.
  • The pesticide label will give REI information.
  • Early-entry workers must be given additional pesticide training.
Restricted-Entry Intervals Quiz

True or False

1. REI means Restricted-Entry Interval.
2. REIs are established only for certain pesticides used in agricultural production.
3. Workers must be notified about pesticide treated areas either orally or by posting warning signs according to the pesticide label.
4. There are only three work situations in which early-entry workers may enter an area during REI.
5. Early-entry workers must receive training to learn the signs and symptoms of poisoning.

Answer Key
1. T, 2. F, 3. T, 4. T, 5. T

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