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Oregon Wildfire Smoke Worker Protection Rule Takes Effect Aug. 9

Aug. 6, 2021, 1:31 PM

Two summers of raging forest fires in Oregon have convinced state officials to enact an emergency rule aimed at protecting workers from hazardous levels of wildfire smoke.

The rule, covering outdoor and indoor workers, requires such steps as providing free N95 or similar respirators to employees or moving work into buildings where air-conditioning systems filter out minute smoke particles. It takes effect Aug. 9.

Oregon is the third Western state to enact a wildfire smoke standard. California’s rule took effect in 2019 and Washington issued its rule July 16.

Employers with workers who could be exposed to the smoke, ...