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Wildfire Smoke

Wildfire Smoke Guidelines For Outdoor Workers

Introduction

California is prone to wildfires which can produce smoke and particulates that can affect downwind areas. These guidelines were developed to ensure the safety of outdoor workers when production is impacted by wildfire smoke. An outdoor worker is defined as any employee working outdoors for more than one hour per shift.

If you are on the Burbank lot, WB Safety and Security will monitor air quality conditions. You may also call 818-954-2890 for updates during normal business hours.

Air Quality

In order to determine if and when employers are required to take steps to protect their workers from wildfire smoke, Cal/OSHA requires employers to use the EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI). The AQI is a measure of the air quality and its potential impact on human health during wildfires. An AQI that exceeds 150 correlates to air quality that is deemed “unhealthy.”

 

For further AQI information outside of Burbank, visit www.airnow.gov.  

What to do when the AQI is approaching 150:

Employers are required to take action to reduce outdoor workers’ exposure to wildfire smoke when the AQI is >150. Heads of department should prepare to address activities for outdoor workers to avoid unnecessary outdoor exposure and limiting physical exertion.

What to do when the AQI is over 150:

The following precautions should be considered and implemented whenever possible to avoid unnecessary outdoor exposure to wildfire smoke and limiting physical exertion:

  • Work indoors, if possible
  • Reschedule outdoor projects, if possible
  • Increase rest and break periods
  • N95s should be made available for voluntary use
  • Outdoor workers should be given the Wildfire Smoke Information for Outdoor Workers, California Title 8, Section 5141.1, Appendix B

 

Individuals who have air quality-sensitive conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and other chronic respiratory diseases, should follow these recommendations and stay indoors as much as possible. Speak with your supervisor if you have any questions.

What to do when the AQI is approaching 500:

Employers are required to take action to reduce outdoor workers’ exposure to wildfire smoke when the AQI is >500. This includes mandatory respiratory protection (N95) for outdoor workers once the AQI is >500. This will involve fit testing and medical evaluations.  Heads of department should prepare to schedule fit testing and medical evaluations, distribute N95s, and provide instruction for respiratory use to outdoor workers.

What to do when the AQI is over 500:

You are receiving this notification regarding wildfire smoke in our area. Current air quality conditions from wildfire smoke have exceeded 500 (AQI). The following precautions should be considered and implemented whenever possible to avoid unnecessary outdoor exposure and limiting physical exertion:

  • Work indoors, if possible
  • Reschedule outdoor projects, if possible
  • Increase rest and break periods
  • N95s are now mandatory for all outdoor work. Mandatory respiratory protection involves fit testing, medical evaluations and training on N95 use (see instructions below).

 

Individuals who have air quality-sensitive conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and other chronic respiratory diseases, should follow these recommendations and stay indoors as much as possible. Speak with your supervisor if you have any questions.

N95 Respirator Use:

Voluntary N95 Respirator use can be an effective way to protect employee health by reducing exposure to wildfire smoke when they are properly selected and worn. N95 use can be beneficial even when the AQI is less than 151, to provide additional protection. If you have a heart or lung problem, you should ask your doctor before using a N95.

Do not wear N95s in areas where the air contains contaminants for which the N95 is not designed for. N95s are designed to filter particles will not protect you against gases or vapors, and it will not supply oxygen.

Employees should keep track of their N95 so that they do not mistakenly use someone else’s.

When the current AQI is greater than 150, or when the self-monitoring action level is met, employers will provide employees with N95s for voluntary use upon request.

To get the most protection from an N95, there must be a tight seal around the face. An N95 will provide much less protection if facial hair interferes with the seal.

When putting on an N95, it’s important to put it on and adjust it correctly. Follow the manufacturer’s fitting instructions, or the generic instructions prepared by 3M below. Manufacturer’s instructions will/can be provided at time of distribution or can be found here.

N95 Distribution (Burbank Only)

Once the action level has been met, N95s are available at the following locations:

  • Paint Store – Building 47
  • Tours Department – Building 128 (Tours employees only)
  • First Aid Main Lot – Building 34
  • First Aid Ranch – Building 220R
  • Enterprise Business Resilience – Parking Lot A
  • Safety Department – Building 44 (The Mill)

This website and the information contained in the Injury & Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) are intended and authorized for the use of employees of this Company only; they are not intended for, nor should they be used by, the general public or any third parties. If you have not been expressly directed to this site by the Warner Bros. Studio Operations Department of Safety & Environmental Affairs, you are not authorized to use this website and you must exit now. The IIPP is a general outline of safe work practices to be used as a guideline for our productions to provide a safe work environment for our employees. Because each particular work situation is different, these IIPP guidelines are intended to be used in conjunction with consulting the appropriate production supervisors and seeking the assistance of our Production Safety personnel. The information contained in this IIPP is not a legal interpretation of any federal, state or local regulations, laws or standards. No warranty is made about any of the contents of this website.