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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.

8 CCR 5141.1.