Who requires a pesticide certificate?
The material on this page is provided as general information.
For an accurate assessment of your situation, please review the appropriate legislation or consult the appropriate agency (B.C. Ministry of Environment or WorkSafe BC).
In British Columbia, two sets of legislation apply to persons using pesticides.
The requirements are slightly different depending on the location of application:
In a workplace registered with the Worker’s Compensation Board, all employees must hold a certificate to handle, mix or spray pesticides of moderate or high toxicity. The situation is different when using pesticides of low toxicity and is explained later in this text.
The Worker’s Compensation Board issued the Occupational Health & Safety Regulation in 1998. Regulation 6.77 states:
“The employer must ensure that a worker or applicator who mixes, loads or applies a moderately or very toxic pesticide for use in a workplace or who cleans or maintains equipment used in the operations
(a) is 16 years of age or over, and
(b) holds a valid applicator certificate issued pursuant to the Pesticide Control Act and Regulation.”
For more information about this regulation, or to order a copy, visit the website of the Worker’s Compensation Board
at www.worksafebc.com and follow the links to “OHS Regulation”, then “6.70 Pesticides”.
On farms registered with the Worker’s Compensation Board, all employees must hold a certificate to handle, mix or spray pesticides of moderate or high toxicity. The situation is different for employees handling pesticides of low toxicity or for farms not registered with the Worker’s Compensation Board. Those situations are explained later in this text.
In 1993, the Worker’s Compensation Board issued the Regulations for Agricultural Operations. Regulation 26 states:
“The employer shall ensure that workers who mix, load or apply moderately or very toxic pesticides for use in fields or who clean or maintain equipment used in these operations
(a) are over the age of 16, and
(b) hold, after March 31, 1994, a valid applicator certificate issued pursuant to the British Columbia Pesticide Control Act and the Pesticide Control Act Regulation.”
For more information about this regulation, or to order a copy, visit the website of WorkSafe BC
(Worker’s Compensation Board) at www.worksafebc.com and follow the links to the publications.
For situations not covered by the Worker’s Compensation Board, the use of pesticides should be in accordance with the Integrated Pest Management Act and Regulation, under the authority of the B.C. Ministry of Environment.
The following are examples of situations where the Integrated Pest Management Regulation comes into effect:
- Farms not covered by the Worker’s Compensation Board
- Worksites covered by the Worker’s Compensation Board, but the employees are handling low toxicity pesticides
- Private properties and the use of pesticides on private land.
In general, the provincial legislation stipulates the following:
- An applicator certificate is required to purchase and use restricted pesticides (usually the more toxic pesticides);
- An applicator certificate is required to use pesticides on public land, or for a fee-for-service basis
(such as with landscape maintenance companies applying pesticides on private properties);
- A certified applicator can supervise up to 4 uncertified assistants.
The Integrated Pest Management Regulation (B.C. Reg. 604/2004), consolidated December 31, 2004) states in Section 11:
“A service licensee shall ensure that every service that he sells or provides is performed or supervised by an applicator who
(a) is in continuous attendance at the service,
(b) has available with him proof of his certificate in an appropriate category,
(c) supervises no more than 4 uncertified assistants at one time, and
(d) maintains continuous contact, auditory or visual, or a combination of both, with the uncertified assistants.”
The Integrated Pest Management Regulation states in Section 46:
(1) “…the duties that a licensee providing a service using a class of pesticides prescribed in section 15 [pesticides prescribed in relation to certified individual] must ensure are performed by a certified individual are the following:
(a) be present when the service is provided;
(i) perform the use, or
(ii) supervise not more than 4 uncertified individuals who perform the use.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) (b) (ii), the certified individual must not be more than 500 m from and must maintain continuous visual or auditory contact with each individual being supervised.”
For more information about this regulation, or to order a copy, visit the website of the B.C. Ministry of Environment