CalOSHA established new standards for when employers must provide respirators during smoke events.
CalOSHA emergency standard CCR 8 §5141.1 Protection from Wildfire Smoke ensures protections for outdoor workers, which includes field researchers, ahead of wildfire season.
This emergency standard requires employers to provide appropriate and effective respirators when the employer reasonably expects employees will be exposed to wildfire smoke. The provisions of the bill apply when outdoor workers are reasonably expected to be exposed to an Air Quality Index of 150 or higher. The bill also proposes temporary exceptions to fit-testing and medical evaluation requirements before an employer can issue a respirator.
Please share with anyone who supervises or provides safety support for outdoor workers and field researchers.
- Identify outdoor workers who will be asked to work through a smoke event (designated personnel).
- Secure enough N-95 masks for a multi-day smoke event.
- Develop a plan for distributing masks during a smoke event – please consider remote employees.
During a smoke event
Safety Services will provide additional guidance to help departments meet the requirements of this emergency standard.