Organisations have a duty to ensure they provide a safe workplace, so far as reasonably practicable and this duty extends to managing exposure to bushfire smoke.
Workers with greater sensitivity, such as those with asthma, cardiac or pulmonary conditions or those conducting strenuous or prolonged work outside are at greatest risk, especially in hazardous levels.
WorkSafe Victoria has released guidance on bushfire smoke which outlines the general approach organisations should take to managing their workers exposure to bushfire smoke. You can read this here.
A recent article published in The Conversation provides further details of organisational legal requirements.
In general, organisations should implement a system which takes a risk based approach to managing worker exposure to bushfire smoke, as far as reasonably practicable. The approach should be based on the hierarchy of control which places the use of P2 respirators at the bottom of the hierarchy.
Organisational approaches should include:
Where workers are likely to enter fire affected areas (or areas which could become fire affected), there are also a range of additional hazards which need to be managed by organisations, including: