Latest: Oregon officials urge outdoor work delay amid smoke
The Latest on wildfires in the U.S. West (all times local):
SALEM, Ore. — Oregon officials are urging employers to stop or delay outdoor work, including construction and harvesting, with wildfire smoke blanketing the region.
The Pacific Northwest continues to have some of the world’s unhealthiest air from fires raging in California, Washington and Oregon.
The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Oregon Health Authority say employers must take reasonable steps to protect workers when air quality becomes unhealthy. That can include halting outdoor work, letting workers with underlying health conditions stay home, and providing N95 masks, as the masks many workers have worn to guard against COVID do not protect against smoke particles.
“During this incredibly challenging and evolving emergency, we are encouraging employers—particularly those with outdoor operations—to take all reasonable and necessary precautions and steps to ensure the safety of their employees,” Oregon OSHA administrator Michael Wood said in a news release.