Cal/OSHA Standards Board Adopts New Emergency Regulation to Protect Outdoor Workers from Wildfire Smoke

Cal/OSHA Standards Board Adopts New Emergency Regulation to Protect Outdoor Workers from Wildfire Smoke

Employers must quickly adopt the new requirements in early August.

California's Department of Industrial Relations' Occupational Health & Safety Standards Board adopted an emergency regulation to protect workers from hazards associated with wildfire smoke. The regulation is expected to go into effect in early August.

The emergency regulation will be effective for one year and applies to workplaces where the current Air Quality Index (AQI) for airborne particulate matter is 151 or greater, and where employers should reasonably anticipate that employees could be exposed to wildfire smoke.

Under the new regulation, employers must take the following steps to protect workers, according to a news release:

  • Identify harmful exposure to airborne particulate matter from wildfire smoke before each shift and periodically thereafter by checking the AQI for PM 2.5 inregions where workers are located.
  • Reduce harmful exposure to wildfire smoke if feasible, for example, by relocating work to an enclosed building with filtered air or to an outdoor location where the AQI for PM 2.5 is 150 or lower.
  • If employers cannot reduce workers’ harmful exposure to wildfire smoke so that the AQI for PM 2.5 is 150 or lower, they must provide:
    • Respirators such as N95 masks to all employees for voluntary use.
    • Training on the new regulation, the health effects of wildfire smoke, and the safe use and maintenance of respirators.

The Standards Board has also requested that Cal/OSHA conduct a follow-up comprehensive review of the regulation with an advisory committee using the regular rule making process in order to adopt permanent regulations. The emergency regulation will remain in effect during that process. 

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Everything You Need to Know about Incident investigations

    Need some tips for conducting an incident investigation at work after there’s been an occupational injury or illness, or maybe even a near miss? This guide presents a comprehensive overview of methods of performing incident investigations to lead you through your next steps.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
Bulwark CP

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2020

    October 2020

    Featuring:

    • FACILITY SECURITY
      EHS Compliance: Make it Personal
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      Choosing the Right Safety Shoe for Your Industry
    • HAND PROTECTION
      A Requirements Checklists for Work Safety Gloves
    • COVID-19 MANAGEMENT
      Contemporary Issues in HSE Management
    View This Issue