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California Wildfire Smoke Worker Protections Coming in August

July 18, 2019, 8:15 PM

California workers should have new legal protections from wildfire smoke in early August, following a July 18 vote by the state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approving the emergency rule.

The rule requires employers to take protective steps if the smoke level for their region is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as “unhealthy” or worse—an index of 151 or more.

The rule is expected to take effect in early August, following a review by the state’s Office of Administrative Law.

Indoors and Outdoors

Employers would have to provide respirators for workers laboring outdoors during unhealthy air quality ...