Outdoor worker protections
The Wildfire Smoke emergency rule provides protection for personnel working outdoors for more than one hour who may be reasonably expected to be exposed to wildfire smoke. The rule identifies two action levels to protect personnel when air quality worsens.
Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches 69
When the AQI is at 69 or higher in the location where outdoor work is occurring, the University is responsible for:
- Communicating wildfire smoke hazards
- Providing training regarding wildfire smoke
Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches 151
When the AQI is at 151 or higher in the location where outdoor work is occurring, University units must implement exposure controls where feasible. Such controls may include:
- Providing work and/or rest areas in enclosed buildings, structures, or vehicles where the air is effectively filtered
- Providing portable air cleaners in enclosed areas.
- Relocating work indoors or to an outdoor location with a lower AQI
- Changing work schedules so that outdoor work can occur when the AQI is lower
- Reducing the amount of work that involves physical exertion
- Providing additional rest periods
- Monitoring personnel for exposure symptoms; refer to the symptoms list in frequently asked questions section of this page
Respiratory Protection: When the AQI is at 151 or higher, the University unit must provide respirators at no cost to personnel exposed to wildfire smoke.
- Respirators must be NIOSH-approved devices that effectively protect the wearers from inhalation of particles at the 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5)) size, such as N95 filtering facepiece respirators.
- University units may provide KN95 respirators during the 2021 wildfire season. After the 2021 season, respirators must be strictly NIOSH-approved devices.
- Respirators shall be cleaned, stored, maintained, and replaced so that they do not present a health hazard to the user.
The following items do not provide adequate respiratory protection from wildfire smoke:
- Surgical masks
- Cloth face coverings