Protection from Wildfire Smoke

Report Hazards to Cal/OSHA

Resources that promote wildfire smoke protection are available in multiple languages for print order and download.

Workers in California have the right to refuse hazardous work, including hazards due to wildfire smoke. It is illegal for employers to punish workers for refusing to perform hazardous work if both of the following are true:

  1. Performing the work would violate a Cal/OSHA health or safety regulation.
  2. The violation would create a “real and apparent hazard” to workers.

When these conditions are met, workers have the right to refuse to perform the work. But before workers refuse, they should consider taking the following steps:

  • Tell the supervisor about the hazard and ask that it be corrected.
  • Explain they are willing to continue working if the hazard is corrected or if they are assigned other work that is safe.
  • State that they believe a health or safety regulation is being violated.
  • Contact the union steward, if there is one.

If the hazard is not fixed, the workers can call Cal/OSHA and file a complaint.

Cal/OSHA is the agency in charge of making sure that workplaces are safe for all workers. Cal/OSHA will investigate if workers file complaints of serious unsafe conditions.

Workers can take these actions to file complaints about unsafe conditions:

  • Locate the Cal/OSHA office nearest to the worksite by entering your zip code on the Cal/OSHA website.
  • Call, fax or email a complaint and/or go in person to the nearest Cal/OSHA office.
  • Workers can also report workplace hazards by calling Cal/OSHA's Call Center 833 579 0927.

Provide the following information when filing a complaint with Cal/OSHA:

  • The name of the employer or company and the kind of work that is done.
  • The job location Cal/OSHA needs to find the worksite.
  • Describe the problem with as many details as possible about how the wildfire smoke affects the workers.
  • The number of workers at the site and what languages they speak.
  • The hours of work and how long work will continue at that location, whether it is another day, week or month.
  • The name of the person of filing the complaint, if they wish to provide it. Cal/OSHA will not tell the employer who called, and a name is not required to file a complaint. If contact information is provided, the results of any inspections will be mailed to the complainant.

July 2023