Pesticide Safety Laws Challenge the Engineer 750783
Incidents involving poison exposure of workers who have come in contact with toxic agricultural chemicals have prompted detailed analysis of pesticide related illnesses in California. Workers compensation insurance claim records and statewide surveys have clearly indicated the extent of such illnesses in the state. These same statistics provide no evidence of the massive numbers of occupational illnesses or fatalities following pesticide exposure as alluded to in some newspaper accounts but do indeed document the need for prevention of pesticide-related illnesses. California's pesticide worker safety regulations developed to fill this need are discussed in some detail to inform prospective farm machinery manufacturers of the particular areas of machine design where the engineer can make a major contribution toward the elimination of such illnesses by incorporating certain design features in pesticide spray equipment and tractor design. The idea of a pesticide-free worker's environment is discussed, and the demanding need for engineering compromise in attaining it is defined. Prototype systems and major design needs are reviewed, but the ultimate machine design solutions not yet developed remain to challenge the engineer.