9.1 Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

9.1.1 Departments shall develop pest management programs that incorporate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles and practices.

9.1.2 When a decision is made to use a pest control product within the context of an IPM program, the department must ensure that employees follow the label instructions so that the product is used safely.

9.1.3 The IPM is a long-standing and science-based decision-making process that identifies and reduces risks from pests and pest-management-related strategies. It coordinates the use of pest biology, environmental information and available technology to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means, while posing the least possible risk to people, property, resources and the environment.

9.1.4 The elements of IPM are:

  1. preventing organisms from becoming pest problems by planning and managing ecosystems;
  2. identifying pest and beneficial species;
  3. monitoring pest and beneficial species populations, pest damage and environmental conditions;
  4. using injury and action thresholds to determine when to treat pests;
  5. using treatments that usually include a combination of methods, such as cultural, biological, physical, mechanical, behavioural, or chemical methods, to achieve acceptable control with minimal impact to the environment; and
  6. evaluating the effects and efficacy of pest management strategies.

9.1.5 IPM programs also involve communicating with employees, customers, agencies and the public to inform them of the goals, methods, results and benefits of using IPM.

9.1.6 IPM requires knowing and using available methods in a stepwise approach. Once monitoring, identification and action thresholds indicate that pest control is required and preventive methods are no longer effective or available, IPM programs then evaluate the proper control method for both effectiveness and risk. Effective, reduced-risk pest controls are chosen first, including highly targeted chemicals such as pheromones to disrupt pest mating, or mechanical control, such as trapping or weeding. If further monitoring, identification and action thresholds indicate that the controls are not working then additional pest control methods are employed, such as the targeted spraying of pesticides. Broadcast spraying of non-specific pesticides is a last resort.

9.1.7 Examples of available methods include:

  1. maximizing a plant's health and minimizing its susceptibility to pest infestations by:
    1. crop rotation,
    2. moisture control,
    3. planting techniques, and
    4. sanitation;
  2. genetic selection, i.e., using resistant species and varieties of plants;
  3. mechanical controls, e.g., trapping or cultivating or using physical barriers;
  4. approved biological controls, including:
    1. parasitic and predatory insects, and
    2. host-specific pathogens; and
  5. using conventional pesticides in a prescribed manner.

9.2 Work Procedures

9.2.1 Each department in which pesticides are used, handled, stored or disposed of shall ensure that the pesticide label directions, Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and any relevant legislation on pesticide use (federal, provincial/territorial or municipal) are followed, including but not limited to municipal and/or provincial/territorial by-laws restricting the cosmetic use of pesticide. For overlapping legislation, the most restrictive is to be adhered to. The employer will provide all SDS and/or other manufacturer literature and shall be readily accessible in paper and electronic copy.

9.2.2 When, for research purposes or otherwise, deviations from the manufacturer's instructions are required, the use of a pest control product for research purposes must be carried out in accordance with the Pest Control Products (PCP) Regulations and may require a ministerial authorization for which an application must be made.

9.2.3 Detailed written procedures about the safe use, handling, storage, transportation and disposal of pesticides, including circumstances in which the employee may be required to work alone shall be developed in consultation with the appropriate health and safety committee, prominently displayed in the workplace, and explained to all employees concerned.

9.2.4 Pesticides shall be used, handled, mixed and disposed of by certified applicators.

9.2.5 When pest control is contracted, contractors shall be certified or licensed in accordance with the applicable provincial requirements; the provisions of the IPM program shall apply.

9.2.6 A spill contingency plan appropriate to the scale of operations shall be in place before any pesticides are applied.

9.3 Isolation

9.3.1 To the extent possible, potentially hazardous pesticide operations should be isolated from the worker or the worker isolated from the operations. Isolation techniques that should be considered include but are not limited to the following:

  1. using positive-pressure tractor cabs with appropriate filtered air supplies;
  2. conducting pesticide operations when the least number of employees are in the area;
  3. using isolation chambers for the research application of high concentrations of toxic pesticides; and
  4. enclosing pesticide transfer points in handling facilities and applying pesticides in an automated manner.

9.4 Protective Equipment and Clothing

9.4.1 Approved respiratory protective devices, eye protection, and personal protective clothing and equipment appropriate to the potential hazard as identified on the pesticide label and the SDS, if applicable, shall be provided and worn whenever pesticides are handled or used. Personal protective equipment (including first-aid supplies and portable eyewash stations) shall not be kept in the same storage room as pesticides to avoid contamination. In addition, departments shall provide personal protective equipment and clothing in accordance with the manufacturers' recommendations and Part XII - Personal and Protective Equipment and Clothing.

9.5 Storage

9.5.1 To the extent possible, quantities of pesticides purchased and stored shall not exceed the needs of one season in accordance with a pest management program. Pesticides shall be kept in their original, undamaged containers with labels intact and shall be separately stored in locked cabinets. Storage cabinets and rooms shall be vented to the outside with controlled access to avoid unauthorized use. Shelving shall be secure and impervious; and no higher than 150 cm unless specifically designed for safe access above eye level. Appropriate warning signs shall be prominently displayed to identify the locations. Spill control material appropriate to the pesticides in storage shall be maintained at the storage site.

9.6 Disposal

9.6.1 The directions on pesticide labels and provincial requirements for disposing of the product container after use and for disposing of unused or unwanted product shall be followed. Empty pesticide containers shall not be reused for any purpose. During disposal procedures, all possible precautions shall be taken to ensure that persons are not exposed and that pesticides are not released into the environment. Additional disposal procedures may be found in the SDS.

9.7 Mixing, Loading and Application Equipment

9.7.1 Before mixing and using pesticides, the work procedures developed under section 9.2 shall be read for special instructions for personal protection and special procedures.

9.7.2 Measuring, mixing and loading pesticides is the most hazardous stage of pesticide use because of the possibility of contact with the concentrated product.

9.7.3 In addition to appropriate protective clothing and safety equipment identified on the label and the SDS, a liquid-proof apron, to cover the body from chest to knees, should be worn.

9.7.4 Scales, measuring cups, mixing pails and other equipment used in these operations shall be used only for pesticides. Equipment shall be cleaned and returned to locked storage when not in use.

9.7.5 Application equipment shall be selected, calibrated, operated and maintained to ensure employee safety and the uniform application of the pesticide only to the desired target area at the correct rate and to prevent contaminating non-target areas.

9.8 Pesticide Application

9.8.1 Departments shall ensure that decisions about pesticide application programs and subsequent re-entry shall be developed in consultation with the appropriate health and safety committee and in accordance with any directions on the pesticide label. Additional restrictions on pesticide use put in place by provincial, territorial or local jurisdictions shall also be respected. To the extent possible, all pesticide applications shall be carried out when employees are not present.

9.9 Indoors

9.9.1 Five days before the application, employees shall be informed of the intended pesticide application by signs and by a notice. Both shall include the:

  1. name of the product to be used;
  2. PCP registration number;
  3. reason for the application;
  4. date of application;
  5. telephone number to contact for information; and
  6. safe re-entry time into the treated area.

9.9.2 Signs shall remain posted for 48 hours after application unless a longer safe re-entry time is specified. Following that period, the signs shall be removed.

9.9.3 The time for safe re-entry into the treated area shall be determined by referring to the product label. Supplementary information can be found in the SDS or by referring to Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA).

9.10 Outdoors

9.10.1 Warning signs shall be posted 24 hours before application. However, it is recognized that under certain unforeseen weather conditions, spraying operations may have to be initiated on short notice. Under those circumstances, the 24-hour pre-application posting requirement may not be possible, but signs must nonetheless be posted before the pesticide application.

9.10.2 Signs shall remain posted for 48 hours after application unless a longer safe re-entry time is specified. Following that period, the signs shall be removed.

9.10.3 Signs must be made of weather resistant material. They should be approximately 50 cm high by 40 cm wide.

9.10.4 The sign shall contain the following wording:


9.10.5 The sign shall also contain a warning pictogram that alerts the public not to touch or walk on treated plants or areas.

9.10.6 The sign shall include the:

  1. date of the application;
  2. name of the pesticide used;
  3. PCP registration number;
  4. reason for the application;
  5. telephone number to contact for information; and
  6. safe re-entry time into the treated area.

9.11 Greenhouses, Barns, etc.

9.11.1 Application requirements are the same as for outdoors except that signs shall be posted 24 hours before application.

9.12 Personal Hygiene

9.12.1 After handling pesticides and before attending to personal needs, employees should wash thoroughly, with special attention to the face, hands and hair and under the fingernails.

9.12.2 Departments shall ensure that protective clothing and equipment are cleaned after every use in accordance with Part XII - Personal and Protective Equipment and Clothing.

9.13 Pesticide Emergencies

9.13.1 If a spill or leak of pesticides occurs, the spill contingency plan prepared in accordance with subsection 9.15.1 shall be implemented.

9.14 Transportation

9.14.1 Procedures developed for transporting pesticides, as outlined in section 9.2, shall meet the requirements of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (TDGA) for preparing and packaging pesticides for transportation and for transporting pesticides. It includes documentation and placarding and labelling requirements for pesticides being transported as well as training requirements and the responsibilities of employees involved in the operations.

9.14.2 Certain small quantities of pesticides may be exempted from the requirements of the TDGA, which can be determined by referring to the appropriate sections of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

9.14.3 Pesticides shall be transported in a separate compartment from the driver and passengers and shall not be transported in a compartment containing animals, food, animal feed, clothing, household furnishings or other personal items.

9.14.4 All transported pesticides shall be inspected to ensure the integrity of the containers and shall be placed in the vehicle in a safe manner to avoid tipping, spilling or leaking.

9.14.5 All pesticide containers shall have the original label intact. The driver shall keep a list of the pesticides being transported, with a copy of the labels.

9.14.6 Spill clean-up equipment appropriate to the quantities of pesticides being transported shall accompany the shipment.

9.14.7 Vehicles used for transporting pesticides shall be posted with a warning sign as follows:


9.14.8 Vehicles used for transporting pesticides shall also be:

  1. decontaminated before being used for any other purpose;
  2. equipped with safety locks; and
  3. locked when unattended.

9.14.9 Vehicles occasionally used to transport pesticides shall meet the above requirements to the extent practicable.

9.15 Decontamination

9.15.1 Decontaminating a spill site shall be performed in accordance with a predetermined spill contingency plan and shall be carried out with the latest techniques advocated by the appropriate regulatory authority and emergency organizations.

9.15.2 Decontaminating pesticide spills shall be carried out by a person trained in decontaminating pesticide spills and supervised by a qualified person.

9.15.3 Application equipment shall be decontaminated in accordance with the Code of Good Practice for Handling, Storage, Use and Disposal of Pesticides at Federal Facilities.

9.16 Inventories

9.16.1 An up-to-date inventory of all pesticides in storage shall be maintained. Containers must be dated when received and to the extent possible the shelf life of the pesticide identified. The inventory list is to be kept in a separate location and is to be made available to the appropriate health and safety committee.

9.16.2 Information on site layout and the storage of pesticides shall be kept readily visible by the employer to ensure that emergency responders can access it easily and quickly.

9.17 Labelling

9.17.1 As required under the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA), all pesticides shall be kept in original containers with the original labels intact. Contact the manufacturer or appropriate regulatory authority if the label is not intact.

9.18 Monitoring

9.18.1 Procedures involving the use of pesticides, either in a laboratory or in general field applications, shall be monitored at regular intervals by the responsible authority within the department to ensure that prescribed safety procedures are being followed. If an independent survey or health investigation is considered advisable at any time, contact the appropriate regulatory authority.

9.18.2 The appropriate health and safety committee shall be advised of health and safety investigations before they are conducted. All monitoring reports and data should be made available to the appropriate health and safety committee.

9.19 Housekeeping

9.19.1 Appropriate good housekeeping shall be followed in all areas where pesticides are mixed, stored or handled. This includes maintaining the absolute cleanliness of the workplace and using approved waste disposal facilities and techniques including adherence to the requirements of Part VIII - Sanitation.

9.20 Education and Training

9.20.1 Departments shall ensure that only certified applicators use, handle, mix and dispose of pesticides.

9.20.2 In addition, departments shall, in consultation with the appropriate health and safety committee, develop and implement a workplace education program for certified applicators. The program shall include the concepts and principles of the departmental IPM program and instruction related to specific pesticides used in the workplace, their hazards as outlined on labels, the SDS and manufacturer's literature, the protection required for certified applicators to perform their duties, and the first aid and emergency procedures relevant to pesticide use.

9.20.3 The workplace education program referred to earlier shall be reviewed, in consultation with the appropriate health and safety committee, at least once per year, whenever new pesticides are about to be introduced in the workplace and when new hazard information about a pesticide becomes available.

9.21 First Aid

9.21.1 First-aid instructions and emergency procedures as detailed on the product label, the SDS, and in the manufacturer's literature shall be followed for suspected pesticide poisonings. Procedures shall be displayed prominently in all areas where pesticides are stored, handled, used and disposed of and where decontamination is carried out.

9.21.2 Emergency telephone numbers for first-aid attendants and for the local poison control centre shall be prominently displayed.

9.22 Personnel Monitoring

9.22.1 All personnel regularly engaged in work involving handling pesticides shall be examined in accordance with the provisions of the Directive on Occupational Health Evaluations.

9.22.2 Physical examination standards are established in consultation with the designated occupational health service provider and appropriate specialists by the employing department (with input from its occupational health and safety policy committee) and the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS).

9.23 Medical Records

9.23.1 The employer shall maintain all medical records obtained during the examination of an employee under the requirements of the Directive on Occupational Health Evaluations including a detailed history of the employee's exposure. Records shall be made available to an employee's physician on request.

9.24 Pesticide Application Records

9.24.1 Departments shall maintain records on the application of pesticides for a period of 30 years after the application date. The records shall contain the following information as a minimum:

  1. the pesticide applied (active ingredient);
  2. the PCP registration number;
  3. the application rate;
  4. the application site;
  5. the method of application;
  6. the names of the persons who applied the pesticide;
  7. the reason for the application;
  8. any unusual circumstances that occurred during the application; and
  9. the reports from any health or safety investigations conducted, including all sampling data and other relevant information.

9.24.2 Copies of those records shall be placed in the personnel files of employees applying or handling pesticides and shall be referenced in the personnel files of other employees who request it.

9.25 Environmental Monitoring Records

9.25.1 Departments shall maintain records of all environmental sampling data and reports for a period of 30 years from the date of reporting.

9.26 Organizations

9.26.1 Information about registered pesticides and their uses may be obtained from the PMRA, the organization responsible for regulating those products. Departments and employees can obtain information as follows:

Pest Management Information Service
Pest Management Regulatory Agency
Health Canada
2720 Riverside Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Address Locator: 6606D2
K1A 0K9

E-mail: hc.pmra.info-arla.sc@canada.ca
Telephone: 613-736-3799
Toll-free: 1-800-267-6315
Facsimile: 613-736-3798
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

9.26.2 Health Canada will provide information about the effects of pesticide exposure and advice about appropriate training, including emergency first aid.

9.26.3 The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) maintains databases on the SDS, Pest Management Research Information Systems and regulatory information on pesticide products.

135 Hunter Street East
Hamilton, ON L8N 1M5
Tel: 905-572-2981
Fax: 905-572-2206

9.27 Materials

9.27.1 The following publications are available at the address indicated:

  1. The Pest Control Products Act and Regulations:
  2. The Standard for Pesticide Education, Training and Certification in Canada (National Standard).

    Educating individuals who apply pesticides (applicators) is a key element in promoting the responsible use of pesticides to protect human health and the environment. The provinces and territories are responsible for training and certifying pesticide vendors and applicators. Pesticide training and certification programs across Canada are based on the National Standard which may be accessed at the following address: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pest/part/fpt/educ-cert-eng.php.