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Oregon OSHA offers employers free resources on new rule protecting workers from wildfire smoke

Oregon OSHA

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – As a rule addressing protections for workers against potential exposure to wildfire smoke is set to take effect July 1, Oregon OSHA encourages employers and workers to use new resources developed by the division to help understand and comply with the rule.

The following free resources are now available online:

  • Wildfire smoke online course: Designed to satisfy certain training requirements found in the wildfire smoke rule, the course addresses such topics as air quality measurements, health effects and symptoms, the proper use of filtering facepiece respirators, and other safety measures.
  • Fact sheet about the key requirements of the wildfire smoke rule: This six-page document highlights the rule’s key overall requirements, offering a reader-friendly summary of what employers and workers need to know about the rule. 

“These new tools underscore our ongoing commitment to provide employers with resources in advance to help them comply with the rule and protect their workers from the potential dangers of wildfire smoke,” said Renee Stapleton, acting administrator for Oregon OSHA.  

Oregon OSHA adopted wildfire smoke and heat rules in May. Both rules encompass initial protective measures for workers who rely on employer-provided housing, including as part of farm operations. The heat rule took effect June 15. Resources to help understand and comply with the heat rule are available, including the recently released sample plan for the heat illness prevention plan and sample plans for rest breaks and acclimatization. 

Both rules were proposed in February, following a development process that included worker and community stakeholder listening sessions, input and review by rule advisory committees, and input from employer and labor stakeholders. The rules build on temporary emergency requirements that were adopted in summer 2021 following several months of stakeholder and community engagement.

The wildfire smoke rule addresses an array of exposure assessments and controls, and training and communication measures. The heat rule requires access to shade and cool water, preventive cool-down breaks, and prevention plans and training.

More resources are available:

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.oregon.gov/dcbs/.

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