California enacted an emergency regulation as of July 29, 2019 which requires employers to proactively protect its employees from exposure to air tainted by wildfire smoke. Specifically, the new rule gives employers three choices: (1) relocate workers to an area with cleaner air, (2) move them into enclosed buildings or vehicles, or (3) provide them with respirators, such as the N95 masks. This new regulation applies to all work performed in smoke-fouled air, including open shops and in buildings. Employers must track the Environmental Protection Agency index that is posted online at airnow.gov.
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