As an employer located where there is potential for extensive wildland fires, where can I find information about complying with the wildfire smoke safety regulation?
Earlier this year, the April 16 Cal/OSHA Corner highlighted some of the ways in which the Cal/OSHA Standards Board clarified employer obligations when adopting the final version of its emergency wildfire smoke safety regulation.
The final version went into effect on February 1 as a new Section 5141.1 of Title 8 in the California Code of Regulations.
To more easily determine how these revisions affect your operations, try going to the Cal/OSHA Training Academy at trainingacademy.dir.ca.gov/page/home-english.
Here you will find online training courses, information, videos, and other resources on wildfire smoke safety and a variety of occupational safety and health topics.
The wildfire smoke safety page includes a link to the wildfire smoke regulation (Title 8, Section 5141.1) with links to the new Appendix A and Appendix B to the regulation available from the Article 107 Table of Contents link.
Fact sheets on wildfire smoke safety for employers and workers, and a wildfire smoke safety video are available in English and Spanish.
Also linked on the page is the Cal/OSHA-maintained list of vendors who say they have NIOSH-certified disposable N95 respirators in stock and available for delivery.
Cross links to much of the information are included on Cal/OSHA’s Worker Health and Safety in Wildfire Regions page and on the pages below the wildfire smoke safety videos, which also have been posted to YouTube.
Other Cal/OSHA Training Academy courses available cover COVID-19 information; health care; model health and safety programs and sample plans; respiratory protection; and tree worker safety. Future courses include construction safety, heat illness prevention, and silica.
Although successful completion of these courses will earn the user a completion certificate, completing the training alone “does not constitute compliance with an employer’s legal obligations to comply with safety and health requirements under California law,” the training academy website warns.
The courses are meant to be supplemental to the employer’s safety program.
Column based on questions asked by callers on the Labor Law Helpline, a service to California Chamber of Commerce preferred and executive members. For expert explanations of labor laws and Cal/OSHA regulations, not legal counsel for specific situations, call (800) 348-2262 or submit your question at www.hrcalifornia.com.