Everyone who uses a plant protection product professionally must be trained. In some situations the law requires that users have a recognised certificate of competence or are directly and personally supervised by someone with such a certificate. This requirement applies primarily to those providing a commercial service and who are applying professional agricultural products.
There are exemptions and these are described in the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products which apply to amateur, domestic use and vertebrate control, and in some circumstances to users born before the 31 December 1964. Further information in the Code of Practice.
Additional information on using pesticides safely can be found on the agriculture topic pages.
The requirements for certification will continue until October/November 2011 when a new UK Regulation which implements the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) - Directive 2009/128/EEC - comes into force.
If you, your family, wildlife, or the environment, have been affected by exposure to pesticides you are strongly advised to report it. The department to contact depends on the type of incident you wish to report. Such incidents are taken very seriously but they need to be reported as soon as possible for an effective investigation to be undertaken.
Most of the pesticide-related complaints referred to HSE are concerns about the storage and use of pesticides (plant protection products or biocides) on farms, which mainly involve drift from spraying operations.
If you feel unwell or are worried about your health, you should seek medical advice. If possible, obtain as much information about the spray that caused the incident as you can as this will help your GP or doctor. Once you have done this, you should report the incident to the HSE office nearest to the area where the incident took place.
Further information is available on reporting complaints or concerns.