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Operator Exposure

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Operators are defined by Section 7.2 of European Commission Regulation No 284/2013as people who are involved in activities relating to the application of a plant protection product, such as mixing, loading, application, or relating to cleaning and maintenance of equipment containing a plant protection product. Operators may be either professionals (eg farmers or contract applicators engaged in commercial crop production) or amateur users (eg home garden users) who are not considered to be trained in the use of pesticides.

Article 7.2.1 of EC Regulation No 284/2013 details how operator exposure to active substances and toxicologically relevant compounds in a plant protection product shall be assessed. A copy of EC Regulation No 284/2013 may be accessed by clicking on the following link:

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidance document on the assessment of operator, worker and resident & bystander exposure to plant protection products was noted at the Standing Committee on Pesticides, Animals, Food and Feed meeting on 28/29th May (2015) with an agreed implementation date of 1st  January 2016.   All applications received by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) must reflect this guidance.

The EFSA guidance document and associated exposure calculator can be found using the following link: 

In the absence of relevant guidance the following additional documents and exposure calculation models may also be used to address the estimation of operator exposure during the use of a plant protection product.

Operator exposure calculation models

Operator exposure guidance documents


Updated 2020-07-17