Wildfires continue to burn throughout California – be sure to protect your outdoor workers by following the Protection from Wildfire Smoke regulation §5141.1:
– Monitor the Air Quality Index, airnow.gov enter your location and the current AQI will be listed
– AQI of 151 or greater is unhealthy for general population. When AQI is for PM2.5 is 151 or greater, employers must provide respirators to all employees for voluntary use in accordance with §5144
– 1Respiratory protection such as disposable respirators – for voluntary use – to filter out fine particles, respirators must be labeled N-95, N99, N-100, R-95, P-95, P-99 or P-100 and must be labeled with NIOSH approval.
o Encourage employees to use respirators.
o Bandanas, t-shirt, surgical masks will not provide protection against wildfire smoke.
– Train employees on wildfire smoke hazards, health effects of wildfire smoke, the right to obtain medical treatment, how employees can access current AQI for PM2.5, communicate with employee of harmful air quality, protections available and how to use respirators using section 5141.1 Appendix B.
– Implement modifications to the workplace, if feasible, to reduce exposure.
– Implement changes to work procedures, if practicable, to work schedules.
1Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the N95s and other filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) are in limited or zero supply, the Association is working with a statewide coalition to convince the state to allow for alternative masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.