California firefighters and other types of emergency responders face various risks and threats when fighting fires, especially wildfires. In 2018 alone, millions of acres burned in California, and the men and women who are called to fight these types of outbreaks deserve as much safety as reasonably possible when they go to work. This includes having access to necessary safety equipment. Keeping workers safe means fewer workers’ compensation claims for smoke-related illnesses.
A new bill recently passed in California’s State Assembly that would require employers to provide respirators to firefighters who are fighting wildfires. There are some who believe that this type of respiratory protection is only the first step. Currently, there is proposed legislation from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health that would provide additional protections for both indoor and outdoor workers.
Firefighters have risky jobs, but they still have the right to certain types of protection on the job. If a man or woman develops a health issue as a result of his or her firefighting duties, that individual would be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Sick workers may have a rightful claim to medical care, recovery of some lost wages and even help getting back to work.