Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4937 ..
(3) Do these protective gear requirements differ depending on the weather or other environmental factors, and if so, what are the requirements under these differing environmental influences;
(4) If the answer to (1) above is no, why not.
Mr Wood: The answer to the member's question is as follows:
(1) Canberra Urban Parks and Places (CUPP) employ contractors to undertake general weed control in urban open space as part of the regional Horticultural Maintenance and Cleaning contracts. All weed control contractors are required to hold a current Environmental Authorisation approved by Environment ACT, and under this authorisation spray operators must be trained in herbicide application and safety, including the use of protective clothing and equipment and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
In addition to the requirements under their Environmental Authorisation, CUPP's horticultural maintenance contracts specify a number of personal safety requirements including:
- the use of overalls, impervious footwear and gloves that must be worn at all times for pesticide handling, mixing and application operations;
- a combined helmet and face visor must be worn when handling and mixing herbicide concentrates;
- a respirator (breathing mask) must also be worn when handling, mixing or applying herbicides with dust or fumes or when spraying herbicides in the open above waist height, and it is likely that spray drift may contact the operator's face; and
- spray operators must also comply with the Material Safety Data Sheets for each herbicide used. The MSDS provides additional information on the protective clothing and equipment that must be worn when mixing, handling and applying the herbicide. The contractor must comply with any extra requirements detailed in the MSDS.
Respirators are not generally required for herbicides commonly used for general weed control in urban open space.
(2) The contractor must provide a register of MSDS covering all pesticides used by employees. Contract employees must familiarise themselves with the contents of the MSDS for products they use and must comply with all safety precautions and warnings that apply when using, storing and disposing of products. For the majority of herbicides used by CUPP the appropriate level of personal protection is overalls, boots and gloves. A facemask and or breathing protection is required when mixing or applying herbicides with dusts or fumes or if it is listed on the MSDS.
The herbicides most commonly used by CUPP in public places, roadsides and median strips are glyphosate, diuron and simazine. These herbicides have been selected as they are of low hazard to the operator, general public and environment. The MSDS for each of these require only the standard personal safety equipment of overalls, impervious footwear and gloves to be used.
(3) The requirements do not vary with changing weather conditions as spraying is not undertaken in windy or wet conditions.