Safe Use of Boom Sprayers Mounted or Trailed
Many of you are already actively using pesticides. In particular, herbicides control weed infestations on land you either own or manage. However, using a boom sprayer is not about putting a dollop of product in a tank with a bit more for luck. Then driving at speed to get the job done, hoping for the best!
Without an application unit such as the PA2a boom sprayer. You cannot legally apply any pesticides as a professional user.
As such you may have discovered that as a professional operator you need a certificate of competence. To enable you to carry on doing so.
Although we train the PA2a boom sprayers course with an ATV boom sprayer. This does not restrict you in the future. You will be able to use a tractor-mounted or trailer sprayer or a self-propelled unit. Consequently, you will probably need a little guidance from another trained operator for specific machines though.
Before being able to move onto an application unit such as the PA2 boom sprayer. You must first have completed the PA1 Handling and Application of Pesticides, we advise booking both units in the same month, it saves you travelling to Settle twice!
Session one of our PA2a boom sprayer course has now gone online through blended learning. But do not worry we will talk you through everything you need to do. It is a simple and straight forward way to carry out session one of your PA2a boom sprayer course.
It saves you:
- travelling time
- fuel costs
- an early start if you are not local to the area
Once you have booked and purchased the PA2a you will get an email containing a link to your candidate portal. On the portal, you can view and listen to all the course materials in bite-sized chunks on your own schedule. We will post the workbook and a copy of a clean pesticide label to you, so you can work through the pack alongside the videos.
All the theory training is done from the comfort of your own home or workplace – how amazing is that!
You will have from your purchase point to the actual course date for session two, to complete the learning materials, to ensure you are ready to take the practical assessment.
Remember before being able to move onto an application unit such as the PA2a boom sprayers. You must have completed the PA1 Handling and Application of Pesticides.
As a result, we do recommend that you book your PA1 and PA2a at the same time.
Remember, the safe use of pesticides PA2a boom sprayer is not just about buying the products you use. Such as herbicides (weed killers). It is about the safe application of these products. To protect not only you but the environment in which you work. In particular to or near watercourses including dry ditches and environmentally sensitive areas.
You may have been asked by:
- your farm assurance body
- your employer
- or a new contract opportunity to demonstrate competence through certification
You could be new to the job or have been doing it for over 40 years and things have changed. If so and you are faced with having to gain your spraying qualifications have you been:
- struggling to find the right fit in terms of a training provider?
- confused by all the names, numbers and acronyms for the land based courses that are available to you?
- worried you will get it wrong or waste your hard-earned money?
- concerned that it will feel like going back to school?
- looking to gain a qualification to continue with jobs because legislation has changed?
- offered a new and exciting contract, but need another ticket/qualification to seal the deal?
Then we can help you!
No matter which sector you are coming from, and your level of experience. We can work with you to understand your training needs. To tailor a programme and provide courses that will be suitable for you.
Providing award-winning training through tailored, flexible, friendly, approachable trainers and assessors.
All courses are run in small groups. To ensure you have as much time as needed to learn and experience the requirements for the assessments. If you chose to take them. Trainers and assessors are experienced, friendly, and approachable.
Finally, as with all Lowe Maintenance courses, you get support and advice via email or on the phone, if you need it in the future. Just because you’ve completed the course doesn’t mean you can’t get in touch if you need more information or guidance.
City and Guilds accreditation
Is the certificate you will gain on successful completion of your safe use of boom sprayer, PA2a assessment.
- half a day at home or work for the online elements
- half a day in Settle for a practical training session
- is held on a one-to-one basis, in Settle, by an independent City and Guilds assessor.
On this boom sprayers PA2a, ATV spraying licence you will be learning all about:
Session one is blended online learning (from home or work) covering the theory, through a workbook and access to videos in the candidate portal:
- types of boom sprayers
- nozzle choice and how important the correct nozzle is for the job you are doing
- environmental risk assessments
- principles of calibration
- LERAPs (Local Environmental Risk Assessments for Pesticides)
- dealing with waste and disposal
- your legal responsibilities such as reading the manufacturer’s instructions
- risks with storing, handling, mixing and calibrating pesticides
- using and cleaning spraying equipment
- disposing of chemical waste safely and legally
- safe working practices and industry best practices
- emergency actions
- health monitoring and record keeping
Session two is a face-to-face practical session in Settle:
- carrying out pre-use checks
- completing an environmental risk assessment
- marking out the spraying area
- calibration of your boom sprayer
- measuring and filling the boom sprayer
- completing application records
With regard to the PA2a practical assessment, we will try out best to complete it in the afternoon of your practical training day, however, this is dependent on a number of factors, one being daylight. Although we do aim for this we can not guarantee it.
Although, you will have to bring your own PPE as you are going to need it once qualified. But don’t worry we provide a thorough list of exactly what you need to bring with you so no hiccups on the day.
On booking your course you will be given access to the candidate portal, where you will find lots of leaflets and documentation to read through. There are videos we need you to watch along with the workbook pack sent in the post to work through, to help embed your learning in preparation for your practical training session and assessment.
This preparation for your practical training session and assessment will take in the region of 6 hours to complete, do not leave it to the last minute. Remember you need to have completed all the tasks before attending your practical session and assessment. The onus is on you to be ready, it works perfectly, as long as you’ve done everything we ask you to 😊
The safe use of boom sprayer PA2a is a mix of some self-taught elements and a practical training session, which you will attend in Settle.
On completion of the training, you will be assessed by an independent City and Guilds assessor.
After you have completed your assessment, access to the video content is removed.
We may be stating the obvious and it is sad that we have to be saying this as it appears it is not common practice.
When attending a course with us, you must follow any instructions that are given when using any equipment and carrying out tasks, for the safety of all involved.
For further details please see our terms and conditions for courses.
Other courses of interest to you
In 2015 the law changed, as a result anyone who uses pesticides as a professional must have certificates of competence for the application method they are using.
There is no such thing as grandfather rights to apply pesticides. There is a grandfather rights version of the qualification, if you were born before 1964 you could have chosen to do this qualification. It only enables you to apply pesticides on your land though, nowhere else. However, it is no longer available it was only open for a certain length of time
The PA1 foundation unit does not allow you to apply the pesticides and this is clearly stated on the certificate you receive. Further more, in order to legally apply the pesticides, you need the relevant application units.
There is no law stopping you buying a pesticide product, you may be asked at the point of sale for evidence of your certificate.
You can stock pile as much as you like, but you will certainly be breaking the law when you apply the products without certification.
Unfortunately, not, because there are so many ways to apply different products it is not possible to just have one ticket to cover everything.
There are over 50 different application methods available now and you must choose which ones you need, to continue with your work.
PA2a covers the operation of mounted, trailed and self-propelled hydraulic nozzle or rotary atomiser of horizontal boom sprayers, from small units such as ATV’s to tractors and self-propelled units.
The prime mover isn’t part of the qualification, so if you pass on an ATV you can go onto use a large GPS self-propelled machine (although you may need additional instructions!)
Weed wipers are different they come under PA2f, operating mounted or trailed wick type applicators.
If you think you did your tickets and have lost them, we can check with our assessment centre to see if you’re on the system. Please email us with your name, date of birth and address of the place you lived and when you did the courses. It is certainly worth checking.
HSE advises that refreshers are taken every 5 years, however that is entirely up to you. It is highly recommended because things have changed quite a lot in the last thirty years and if you had an incident one of the first questions you are likely to be asked is when were you last refreshed?
Pesticides are the umbrella term for:
- herbicides (weed killers)
- insecticide (insects)
- fungicides (fungi)
- molluscicides (slugs and snails)
- vertebrate control agents (not rodenticides)
- wood preservatives
- growth regulators
So, if you use any of these as a professional you require the relevant tickets
No, we can provide all the spraying equipment at no extra cost. That way we know all the equipment isn’t contaminated in case someone has a reaction to a product that was used if you bought your own kit.
There are no pre-requisites for PA2a in terms of the prime mover. So no you don’t need to have a tractor driving or ATV ticket to do the course.
Many people choose an air induction / low drift / pre-orifice nozzle as they allow greater control of drift which results in a more targeted application.
It is not advised to spray on hot days, not if it is above 30 degrees.
You need to be aware that when it is too hot the plants shut down, they protect themselves by not letting liquids in or out so there is no point wasting time and money spraying when it is hot.
As long as you have the correct application method and the full suite of tickets (not the grandfather option) then yes you can.
In fact, it’s a good idea as it helps to recoup some of the associated costs, just be aware that your customers will need the relevant records and paperwork from you.
The ideal conditions for spraying are:
- A cool cloudy day
- Early morning or late evening when it has cooled down
- Force 2 wind speed
You learn everything that you need to on the courses, however you could read through the Pesticide Code of Practice and look on the voluntaryinitiative.org.uk website
My maths is shocking, and I can do the calibrations. You are able to use a calculator and the calibration sheet is a set of boxes, as long as you take your time and practice on the spare sheets we give you, I’m sure you’ll be just fine.
No, you don’t need a ticket to buy pesticides, you are however breaking the law when you apply the products without a relevant application method.
For trailed, mounted or self-propelled:
- Over 3m by 2020 ensure it has been tested within the last 5 years. After 2020 they need to be tested every 3 years.
- Under 3m they must be tested every 6 years (slug pellet, granular, boom less)
We recommend Andrew Walburn 07958 351489 for testing.
Handheld equipment doesn’t require an external body to carry out an inspection, ensuring the applicator is fit for use is the responsibility of the trained operator using it. Checks should be carried out on a regular basis and a record kept of its condition and repairs undertaken if any.
Choice of nozzle is recommended on the product label, so it important to spend a few moments reading through for the best advice. You do also learn more about nozzles on the courses.
If you did the City and Guilds tickets and you still have your certificates, then yes, they still stand.
If you did the Agricultural Training Board (ATB) route and you didn’t up grade them to City and Guilds when requested, then unfortunately it is unlikely that you still have the qualification