Top 10 Pesticide Violations You Need to Know

For the safety of your employees, it is critical that correct PPE is worn and fits properly.

Annually, the California Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) releases its top 10 pesticide violations from the previous year. This information is incredibly valuable in determining the agency’s priorities and where agricultural operations should direct their efforts. It is no surprise the 2021 list has not fluctuated by much as the industry continues to struggle with the same issues. However, use this information to assess if your business is meeting the regulatory standards and, if not, take the time to fix the issues before an inspector comes knocking at your door.

1. FAC §12973 | Labeling and Permit Conditions
Common violations under FAC §12973 include:

  • Not following the application requirements listed on the pesticide product label.
  • Applying a pesticide to a site or crop not listed on the pesticide product label.

The use of a pesticide shall not conflict with the registered labeling delivered with the pesticide, or any conditions of a restricted material permit issued by the commissioner. All pesticides registered with U.S. EPA have the phrase, “It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” In other words, the Label is the Law!

2. 3 CCR §6738 | Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Common violations under 3 CCR §6738 include:

  • Not using PPE correctly and for its intended purpose.
  • Using damaged or contami nated PPE.
  • The employer did not provide PPE.

The employer is required to provide all PPE that is required on the pesticide labeling, regulation and restricted material permit condition. The employer must provide for its daily inspection and cleaning, and repair or replace any worn, damaged or heavily contaminated PPE. Additionally, ensure that all PPE not in use is kept separate from personal clothing and in a clean, pesticide-free designated area.

3. FAC §11732 | Registration in County
Common violation under FAC §11732 include:

  • Performing pest control activities in a county before registering with the County Agricultural Commissioner.
  • Anyone who intends to advertise, solicit or operate as a pest control business in California must be registered annually with the County Agricultural Commissioner (CAC) in each county they provide business services.

4. 3 CCR §6726 | Emergency Medical Care
Common violations under 3 CCR §6726 include:

  • Not taking employees suspected of a pesticide illness to a medical care facility immediately.
  • Emergency medical care information is not posted at the work site or work vehicle, or is missing information.

If the employer suspects that an employee could have a pesticide-related illness or exposure, the employee must be taken to medical care immediately. Be prepared to provide medical professionals with the following: The SDS(s); Product name(s); U.S. EPA registration number(s), and active ingredient(s); and Circumstances of application or use that may have resulted in exposure.

The information is critical in determining the proper treatment for your employees. Ensure this information is readily available to be provided in an emergency.

5. 3 CCR §6678 | Service Container Labeling
Common violations under 3 CCR §6678 include:

  • Not including the signal word on the service container label.
  • Not including the name of the company or person responsible for the container on the label.

All service containers are required to contain a label with the following: Name and address of the person or company responsible for the container; The identity of the pesticide in the container; The signal word “Danger,” “Warning” or “Caution” that corresponds with the precautionary statement on the original container.

Farmers on their own property are exempt from this requirement unless they travel on public rights-of-way.

6. 3 CCR §6766 | Application-Specific Information for Fieldworkers
Common violations under CCR §6766 include:

  • Not displaying the Application-Specific Information before any fieldworkers are allowed to enter the treated field.
  • Not displaying the date and time the application started and ended on the Application-Specific Information.

7. 3 CCR §6724 (b-e) | Handler Training
Common violations under CCR §6724 (b-e) include:

  • Employer not having records of training that occurred within the last two years.
  • Training did not include any new pesticides that were being handled.

8. 3 CCR §6761| Hazard Communication for Fieldworkers
Common violations under 3 CCR §6761 include:

  • Not updating medical information within 24 hours of the change.
  • Grower not informing employees of the location of the pesticide use records before they enter the treated fields.
  • Not maintaining pesticide use records and not having SDSs for pesticides accessible to employees.

9. 3 CCR §6434 | Notice of Intent
Common violations under 3 CCR §6434 include:

  • Failure to submit a notice of intent prior to application and/or not submitting a notice of intent at least 24 hours before application.

10. FAC §117014 | Licenses and Permits
Common violations under FAC §117014 include:

  • Providing pest control services without a valid pest control business.

If you should have specific questions regarding your pesticide compliance program, policies or best practices, please contact the AgSafe team at 209-526-4400 or email

The information in the top 10 pesticide violations was provided by the California Department of Pesticide Regulations. To view the presentation in its entirety, please visit

AgSafe is a 501c3 nonprofit providing training, education, outreach and tools in the areas of safety, labor relations, food safety and human resources for the agricultural community. Since 1991, AgSafe has educated over 100,000 employers, supervisors and workers about these critical issues.