Updated September 2020
1. Review — What you need to know about air quality and working in the field
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a daily index of air quality that reports how clean the air is and provides information on potential health risks. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) administers the AQI for the region.
PP&R relies on the AQI to help determine how to keep staff safe in the field. Staff in sensitive groups should notify a supervisor so that proper work activities can be planned during poor air quality.
When air quality becomes Unhealthy (above 151), PP&R activates its Incident Command (ICC) protocols. This creates a streamlined structure to deliver information and directives, keeping all staff safe. During Unhealthy Air events (above 151), the ICC will direct all staff to take action to protect themselves.
Such action may include any combination of the following: having staff work indoors, staying home for self-directed learning, stopping non-critical work, or donning personal protective equipment (such as an N95 respirator) to perform critical work.
The best protection against the effects of air pollution and wildfire smoke when the AQI rises to unhealthy levels is to avoid breathing harmful particle matter, known as PM 2.5. For crews in the field, a proper respirator is an effective and recommended tool to filter out PM 2.5.
Other helpful tips and information on air quality response in Oregon:
- Oregon Health Authority and Wildfire Smoke Preparedness
- Oregon Air Quality Monitoring Data
- Oregon Smoke Real-Time Information from DEQ
- Oregon Wildfire Resource
2. View — Watch a video on how to put on an N95 and review the required reading.
In preparation for further air quality events, all staff that may enter the field to perform critical work are required to review the following information. This information will help keep you safe if and when you need to don an N95 respirator to perform critical work outdoors during an air quality event. PP&R will make N95 respirators available for those staff that enter the field during an unhealthy air event. While some staff have already received training for the use of respirators, we ask that all crews review the information below as a refresher.
Review the manufacturer instructions for N95 disposable respirators.
Watch the video below on how to don and remove an N95 mask properly.
3. Fill out required form — Complete the required form if you will enter the field during an unhealthy air event.
In preparation for further air quality events, all staff that may enter the field during an air quality event to perform critical work are required to complete the following form and return it to a supervisor. These forms should be returned by Saturday, September 26, to your supervisor. Your supervisor will keep them on file and share that you turned it in with the PP&R Safety Manager.
Form to be completed and sent to supervisor
This information will help ensure all field staff have what they need to stay safe in the field when called to perform critical functions during an air quality event.