Facing the Heat: Wildfires Spark Urgent Air Quality Concerns for Employers and Risk Managers
Risk and Insurance
July 24, 2023
The article discusses the impact of wildfire smoke on workers' safety and employers' liability. While there are no federal standards for outdoor air quality, employers are encouraged to follow guidelines from agencies like OSHA and Airnow. Outdoor air quality is now a workplace concern, and employers must ensure a safe environment for workers, including providing masks if needed. Employers should also consider adjusting work schedules and providing proper filtration for indoor air. Although wildfire smoke poses health risks, it may not necessarily lead to workers' compensation claims, but business interruption claims could be considered. The extent of the impact depends on the severity and location of the wildfires.