Wildfire smoke from multiple fires sparked by lightning and high heat over the weekend has caused elevated levels of pollution in the Bay Area. As fire season has just begun, now is the time for Employers to ensure they are following all the legal requirements to protect outdoor workers who are exposed to high temperatures and/or smoke from a wildfire, which we wrote about in previous articles:
Not only should you as an Employer ensure that outdoor workers are being provided with plenty of cool-down breaks, access to shade, and water, but now, in light of fire season, Employers are also required to take the following steps when the air quality reaches an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 151 or higher:
- Implement a system for communicating wildfire smoke hazards to all affected workers;
- Train outdoor workers about harmful air quality procedures;
- Implement controls to reduce an employee’s exposure to the harmful air quality or if not possible, implement changes to work procedures or schedules when practicable;
- Provide proper respiratory protection equipment, such as disposable filtering facepiece respirators (dust masks), other half facepiece respirators, or full facepiece respirators.
If you have any questions regarding protecting your outdoor workers from wildfire smoke or to learn more about other Cal/OSHA requirements, contact the Employer Lawyers at Chauvel & Glatt.
The material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500.