California Adopts Emergency Regulation Protecting Outdoor Workers From Wildfire Smoke
Implementation Date: July 29 2019
An emergency regulation to protect outdoor workers from wildfire smoke applies to workplaces where:
- The current Air Quality Index (AQI) for PM2.5 is 151 or greater, regardless of the AQI for other pollutants; and
- The employer should reasonably anticipate that employees may be exposed to wildfire smoke.
The regulation requires an employer to:
- Determine employee exposure to PM2.5 before each shift and periodically after that as needed;
- Reduce employee exposures by using engineering controls or administrative controls;
- Provide respiratory protective equipment;
- Communicate wildfire smoke hazards, including encouraging employees to inform the employer of wildfire smoke hazards without fear of reprisal; and
- Provide effective training.
The regulation is effective through January 18, 2020 with two possible 90-day extensions.