OSHA urges employers to protect workers from poor air quality

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLNE) — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a set of guidelines for employers to follow to protect outdoor workers from exposure to wildfire health hazards.

The guidelines come after wildfires in Quebec affected air quality along the east coast this week.

Recommended measures to protect workers from exposure to wildfire smoke include air quality monitoring, rescheduling work to non-smoky days, reducing physical activity, and making accommodations to work indoors in places with air filters.

The department said the biggest hazard from wildfire smoke is exposure to tiny particles of partially burned material that can enter the lungs and bloodstream and are linked to serious health problems.

They added that exposure to these particles can result in lung, heart and kidney disease.

More information can be found on OSHA’s comprehensive website as well as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health offers resources for outdoor workers.

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