Sprayers on "grandfather rights" warned that time is almost up

So-called grandfather rights for older sprayer workers end in two weeks' time, meaning anyone applying an authorised pesticide will need to hold a certificate of competence, the industry's Voluntary Initiative has warned.

The exemption allowing those born before 31 December 1964 to use professional pesticides without such a certificate ends on 26 November, after which anyone using professional pesticides will need a certificate unless they are being trained by someone who holds such a certificate.

From this date it also becomes an offence to purchase pesticides authorised for professional use without first ensuring that the intended end user holds the relevant certificate(s).

The Voluntary Initiative has produced a poster for use in stores selling professional pesticides to ensure customers are aware of their obligations.

Agricultural Industries Confederation head of crop protection Hazel Doonan warned: "It's important that everyone understands their legal obligations in relation to the ending of grandfather rights. This change in legislation could have serious consequences for anyone caught out."

The VI has summarised the options as:

take the new Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides Replacing Grandfather Rights, which takes account of applicants' prior spraying experience;

  • take the existing Level 2 Safe Use of Pesticide (PA) Certificate, appropriate to the type of equipment you use, allowing applicants to spray on their own land or as a contractor;
  • employ a qualified contractor for all professional pesticides applications.

First pulbished on www.hortweek.com 11 November 2015, wirtten by Gavin McEwan,