Case Study: CalPCS
California Pesticide Complaint System
For many years, the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has provided education and outreach to encourage and inform farmworkers to report potential pesticide exposure incidents. The State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation is under pressure to improve communications from field workers regarding pesticide exposures and to better track responses to complaints.
State of California
The California Pesticide Complaint System comprises a Mobile App for field workers and the general public to report pesticide-related complaints, a management web portal for DPR to track activities related to incoming complaints, and integration with County Agricultural Commissioner staff to conduct and document investigations into the reported incidents.
Until 2018, when the California Pesticide Complaint System (CalPCS) will go into production, field workers have to call the State or County Agricultural Commissioner’s office to report a complaint. That is after one determines the responsible county and the actual phone number of the County Agricultural Commissioner.
To make this process easier CalPCS will introduce a freely available phone app to collect the data about a complaint. The app has been designed to be strikingly simple to use and encourages users to submit a complaint with informational descriptions and attachments like photos and videos. The complaint is then routed to the responsible County Commissioners office where an investigation can be launched.
The mobile application will simultaneously enter the complaint in DPR’s monitoring system and provide the user with automated status updates at fixed time intervals.
The mobile application shall allow users to enter the following detailed information:
- Personal Information (optional)
- Date and time of the incident
- Location of incident (including GPS coordinates where available)
- Details of the incident
- Image attachments
The County Agricultural Commissioner’s office (CAC) already uses a software system – CalPEATS – to conduct their investigations. An incoming complaint is analyzed by the Intelligent Case Router and redirected to the CalPEATS Dashboard of the appropriate County office. From here, the county staff can start an investigation from within CalPEATS. This process simplifies submitting a complaint for the field worker because they don’t have to remember the phone number for the CAC office where they are working, nor do they have to try to verbalize the issue to someone who may not be proficient in their primary language.
The difficult task of knowing where a complaint has to be sent to is taken care of the system itself. The user simply presses the Submit button and the complaint is automatically routed to the correct agency. On the receiving end of the complaint, life will get simpler, too. The county staff uses the software system they already are using and are familiar with. Using the proven workflow, the complaint is now integrated into the existing procedures which eliminate duplicate data entry and improves response tracking.
The state of California’s Agricultural sector represents:
Nation's Fruits and Nuts*
*values are estimates.
Long-standing DPR policy directs that all pesticide-related incidents and are to be tracked and if warranted, investigated by the County Agricultural Commissioner (CAC).
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