News Detail

OSHA Highlights Resources for Employers to Help Reduce Employee Exposure to Air Pollution Due to Ongoing Canadian Wildfires

As Canadian wildfires continue to produce unhealthy air pollution in parts of the country, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced information to help protect outdoor workers from exposure to wildfire health hazards. OSHA notes that it has a comprehensive website with safety tips and resources to help employers and workers reduce their exposure to smoke during wildfires. The agency also notes that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) offers additional resources here for outdoor workers exposed to wildfire smoke.

In its announcement, OSHA also noted that employers should prepare for and plan to implement procedures to reduce exposures to smoke when necessary, including: (1) frequently monitoring air quality conditions on the Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow website; (2) relocating or rescheduling work tasks to smoke-free areas; (3) reducing levels of physical activity; (4) requiring and encouraging workers to take breaks in smoke-free places, where possible; (5) making accommodations for employees to work inside with proper HVAC systems; and (6) allowing the use of NIOSH-approved respirators when not otherwise required.

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