Wildfire Smoke Workplace Safety & Health Rulemaking
L&I received a petition and is considering adding new wildfire smoke in the workplace rules to Chapter 296-62, WAC, General Occupational Health Standards. See all the rulemaking activity for wildfire smoke on our L&I Rulemaking page.
L&I has filed the Preproposal (CR-101) to start the formal process for this permanent rulemaking. Public meetings for this rulemaking are scheduled for early October, 2022 (see the sections below for more information). An emergency rule, separate from the permanent rulemaking, was effective 6/15/2022 until 9/29/2022.
L&I recognizes the hazard of wildfire smoke exposure is increasing every year and is now potentially presenting important health risks to all outdoor workers including those in construction and agriculture. One other state has adopted temporary and permanent workplace safety and health rules regarding wildfire smoke.
L&I has received a petition for rulemaking on this topic as well. As suggested by a petitioner, in the midst of widespread wildfires and a global pandemic, workers continue to perform essential duties. It is imperative that significant steps be taken to ensure the protection of these workers, especially given the increasing intensity of wildfire outbreaks over the years and the likelihood that they will continue in years to come.
Wildfire smoke presents hazards that employers and workers in affected regions must understand. Smoke from wildfires contains chemicals, gases and fine particles that can harm health. Proper protective equipment, exposure controls, and training are needed for employees working in wildfire regions.
Some of the issues that may be addressed are:
- Identification of harmful exposures;
- Training and instruction;
- Control of harmful exposures
None scheduled at this time.
Open the links to see notes and information from the meeting.
- October 13, 2022, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Virtual only)
- October 7, 2022, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (In-person Tukwila)
- October 6, 2022, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (In-person Yakima)
- October 4, 2022, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (In-person Spokane)
- August 10, 2022, virtual
- April 27, 2022, virtual
- January 27, 2022 1:15 pm to 4:00 pm, virtual
- Background, Timeline, and Meeting Expectations
- Tendencia y efectos del humo de incendios forestales en Washington (Spanish version)
- June 18, 2021 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. virtual
- April 20, 2021, virtual
- March 25, 2021, virtual
- January 21 and February 11, 2021
Draft Permanent Rule
- Draft Permanent Rule (with track changes)
- Draft Permanent Rule
Emergency Rule - 2022
- Emergency Rule, Effective June 15, 2022 through September 29, 2022
- Draft Emergency Rule
Emergency Rule - 2021
- Emergency Rule Language filed July 16, 2021 and effective from July 16, 2021 through November 13, 2021
Wildfire Smoke Rule Draft June 15, 2021 (Written Comments are due by June 29, 2021)
Wildfire Smoke Rule Draft - Spanish (Written Comments are due by June 29, 2021)
The Preproposal (CR-101) was filed October 20, 2020.
At this time, draft language is still being developed. Sign up for our email updates to receive notification when this draft language becomes available.
September 2022 Draft Rule Language - Stakeholder Feedback
- Angela Schauer Feedback 10-21-2022
- Approach Management Feedback 11-2-2022
- Benton County PUD Feedback 10-13-2022
- BIAW Feedback 10-19-2022
- Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Feedback 10-17-2022
- City of Tacoma Feedback 10-20-2022
- Columbia Legal Services Feedback 10-21-2022
- Cowlitz County PUD Feedback 10-13-2022
- Downtown Everett Association Feedback 10-19-2022
- Kayla Yarntender Feedback 10-19-2022
- Matthew Trecha Feedback 11-1-2022
- PHCC Feedback 10-13-2022
- Skagit PUD Feedback 10-19-2022
- Spokane County Feedback 10-12-2022
- Steve Walser Feedback 10-17-2022
- WA Hospitality Association Feedback 10-13-2022
- WA PUD Association Feedback 10-6-2022
- WA Retail Association Feedback 10-20-2022
- WA Refuse & Recycling Assn Feedback 10-21-2022
- WA State Parks Arboriculture Program Feedback
- WA State University Tri-Cities 10-17-2022
- WA State University OH&SEHS 10-10-2022
- WA Tree Fruit Association Feedback 10-21-2022
- Washington Contract Loggers Feedback 10-4-2022
- Washington Education Association Feedback 11-2-2022
- Washington Farm Bureau Feedback 10-20-2022
- Western Tow Boat Company Feedback 10-21-2022
August 2022 Draft Rule Language - Stakeholder Feedback
- Wildfire Smoke and Washington Workers - L&I Topic page.
- Wildfire smoke safety training kit (sample training program) in English & Spanish
- California’s Permanent Rule on Worker Safety and Health in Wildfire Regions
- Oregon’s Temporary Rule on Protection from Wildfire Smoke
Some of the key resources that were considered during the development of draft rule.
- Delfino et al. (2009). The relationship of respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions to the southern California wildfires of 2003. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 66(3), 189-197.
- Doubleday et al. (2020). Mortality associated with wildfire smoke exposure in Washington state, 2006-2017: a case-crossover study. Environmental Health 19(1).
- Gan et al. (2017). Comparison of wildfire smoke estimation methods and associations with cardiopulmonary related hospital admissions. GeoHealth 1(3), 122-136.
- Haikerwal et al. (2015). Impact of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) exposure during wildfires on cardiovascular health outcomes. Journal of the American Heart Association 4(7).
- Liu et al. (2019). Ambient particulate air pollution and daily mortality in 652 cities. New England Journal of Medicine 381(8), 705-715.
- Orellano et al. (2020). Short-term exposure to particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Environment International. 142.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (2019). Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter. Office of Research and Development.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (2020). Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter
For rulemaking questions, please contact:
Cindy Ireland Cynthia.Ireland@Lni.wa.gov or 360-791-5048.
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