CalOSHA to Consider Final Wildfire Smoke Regulation

Earlier this year, the CalOSHA Standards Board held a Public Hearing to consider revisions to Title 8, Section 5141.1 of the General Industry Safety Orders which covers requirements for employers when the air quality index for PM2.5 is 151 or greater and the employer reasonably anticipates that employees may be exposed to wildfire smoke.  Those requirements include the employer providing N95 masks to all affected employees.  CalOSHA received oral and written comments on the proposed revisions, including those from the Assoication, and subsequently modified the proposed regulation as a result of these comments and Board consideration. Unfortunately, the proposed changes do not address the Association’s concernsincluding the lack of availability of N95 masks, and how to determine “reasonably anticipate exposure to smoke”.  Comments on this latest draft are under a 15 day comment period and due on August 12.  Later this year, the CalOSHA Standards Board will consider the adoption of the final regulation.  The Association will once again be weighing in and expressing our concerns on the proposed regulation.