THE HEALTH & SAFETY OF YOUR PEOPLE IS OUR PRIORITY
In the event of a wildfire, your workers are exposed to smoke, ash, and chemical residue. During these times, overexposure is hard to avoid due to the nature of agricultural work. Those who will inevitably step in during cleanup and recovery are putting themselves at risk to combat lost workdays and crop destruction.
WHAT YOU’RE REQUIRED TO DO ONCE A WILDFIRE OCCURS
When a wildfire occurs, employers are required to provide employees with certain protections and information. As you might already know, regulation §5141.1 Protection from Wildfire Smoke went into effect on July 29, 2019. This uses the local air quality index (AQI) for PM2.5 to determine when worker protections are needed.
If employers reasonably anticipate that employees may be exposed to wildfire smoke, they must:
- Monitor the Air Quality Index (AQI) for PM2.5
- Provide training to workers, including how to determine AQI, identify health effects of wildfire smoke exposure, and how to use NIOSH-approved respirators
- Establish worker protection procedures, including a plan to reduce worker exposure to wildfire smoke
- Communicate the above workplace procedures to staff and employees
For more information, visit the State of California Department of Industrial Relations website.
EPIC’S WILDFIRE SMOKE SAFETY TRAINING
Our team provides safety resources and training support on wildfire smoke for both employers and employees. Contact us for an Employer Checklist that will make sure you have everything required of you covered and in place. We also have a double-sided poster and accompanying discussion guide available in both English and Spanish. These are useful, ready-made tools to help communicate the importance of wildfire smoke safety to your workforce.
We have also developed in-person training for agricultural employers and employees that provides a more comprehensive and in-depth review of the health effects of wildfire smoke exposure, worker protection procedures, and more.
Successfully managing risk by identifying and controlling potential sources of loss is the most effective way to protect your winery and reduce its insurance costs. Dedicated EPIC safety and claims consultants set us apart and are essential to this strategy.
We deliver comprehensive, cost-effective, leading-edge products and services from the world’s top insurance companies and specialty carriers. We know our business and yours, which allows us to represent you intelligently and aggressively in the marketplace.
If your winery or vineyard has been affected by recent wildfires, contact our Wine Practice’s Response Team.