Construction Dive editors want to know more about how contractors across the country, not just the Northeast, handle the aftermath of air quality caused by wildfires.
Last week, New York City-based Turner Construction deferred on activities on certain projects most adversely affected by poor air quality out of concern for its workers, due to the Canadian wildfire smoke blowing over to New York City.
Another builder based in the Big Apple, Charney Cos., also gave the day off to workers who wanted it due to the poor air quality. Skanska’s chief environmental health and safety office, Paul Haining, said the toxic air quality moderately impacted the company’s projects with outdoor work in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, though no shutdowns or delays occurred.
But despite the quick responses across various jobsites to keep workers safe, no law or mandate requires individual contractors to halt work due to toxic air. Neither the Environmental Protection Agency nor OSHA have mandates on when outdoor work should cease due to hazardous air quality, though OSHA did advise contractors to monitor conditions and make decisions in the best interest of safety.
Answer our quick survey about how to better respond to these challenges, and whether industry-wide mandates should be created. The result of this week’s survey will be published next week.