CHOLINESTERASE MONITORING

WHAT IS CHOLINESTERASE? 

Of all the hazards your employees face while on the job, pesticides are probably the most dangerous, specifically cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides.   Overexposure to these poisons can affect your employees to the point that they have difficulty performing regular muscular movements, like moving arms and legs, or even moving their lungs (AKA breathing).  

 

As an employer, you are responsible for the health of any employees that handle cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides (toxicity class I or II organophosphate or N-methyl-carbamate pesticides). Washington Labor and Industries requires that applicable employers:

 

  • Record the number of hours employees spend handling these pesticides.

  • Implement a medical monitoring program for workers who could meet or exceed the handling threshold of 30 or more hours in any consecutive 30-day period.

  • Identify a medical provider to provide medical monitoring services (Available February through September/October).

  • Make baseline and periodic cholinesterase testing available to employees who could meet or exceed the handling threshold.

  • Investigate work practices when a handler's red blood cell (RBC) or serum cholinesterase level drops more than 20 percent below the employee's personal baseline.

  • Remove employees from handling and other exposures to organophosphate and N-methyl-carbamate pesticides when recommended by your healthcare provider.

  • Provide training on cholinesterase monitoring to covered employees.

  • Report employee handling hours to the medical provider with each periodic test.

  • Maintain medical monitoring and other records for seven years.

 

OVERWHELMED?

 

Let Worker Care help you out with some of that. We can provide baseline and periodic blood draws, monitoring, and lab report interpretation for every one of your workers. 

 

But beyond all the necessary blood draws and monitoring, protection against cholinesterase depression begins with your employees.  Making sure they have the proper PPE (personal protective equipment), including a properly fitted mask, is critical to protecting their health.  Worker Care can help you with this too, by certifying that masks fit for each employee that plans to spray.  We usually do this at the same time as the baseline cholinesterase test, saving you time and money.

 

If you would like some more information, or want to get cholinesterase monitoring set up, give us a call and we’ll let you know how we can help!