WASHINGTON – As plans for July 4th celebrations kick into high gear, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is urging employers in the fireworks and pyrotechnics industry to protect their workers from hazards while manufacturing, storing, transporting, displaying and selling fireworks.
“Throughout the country, Americans will enjoy the excitement and splendor fireworks bring to the 4th of July holiday, but we must be aware of the dangers workers in the pyrotechnics industry face every day,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “It is vital that employers take the required steps to ensure workers’ safety and health.”
Last year, two workers were killed and four injured in an explosion at a fireworks manufacturing facility in Alabama. The explosion happened during a fireworks mixing process. OSHA cited the employer, Ultratec Special Effects, with 14 serious safety violations and issued proposed penalties of $66,221.
OSHA’s Web page on the pyrotechnics industry addresses retail sales of fireworks and fireworks displays. The page provides information on common hazards and solutions found in both areas of the industry, and downloadable safety posters for workplaces. It also includes a training video that demonstrates best industry practices for retail sales and manufacturers based on National Fire Protection Association consensus standards.