OSHA and CSPC warned consumers and pyrotechnics professionals to be careful during the July 4th holiday season.

OSHA Reminds Pyrotechnics Industry to Stay Vigilant

A new U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission study released the same day shows that consumer injuries from fireworks rose sharply last year, to 11,400, up from 8,700 in 2012.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a reminder that asks the fireworks and pyrotechnics industry to be vigilant in protecting workers from hazards involving in manufacturing, storing, transporting, displaying, and selling fireworks for public events.

Its notice says Washington state occupational safety and health officials are investigating an explosion last week at a fireworks facility that killed a worker and injuring two others. "In another recent incident, a worker suffered fatal burns caused by an explosion at a fireworks facility. OSHA cited the company more than $45,000 for safety violations relating to explosive hazards," it states.

OSHA offers information about the hazards, along with downloadable safety posters for workplaces, at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/pyrotechnic/index.html, and it has produced a video demonstrating best practices for retail sales and manufacturers based on NFPA consensus standards. "As we celebrate the July 4 holiday with fireworks and festivities, we must also be mindful of the safety of workers who handle pyrotechnics," said Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "Employers are responsible for keeping everyone safe on the job and taking appropriate measures to protect workers from serious injuries or death."

Also on June 26, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released a new study that highlighted an increase in the number of fireworks-related deaths and injuries. Device malfunction and improper use are associated with the most injuries, according to the agency. It reported there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 consumers who sustained injuries related to fireworks in 2013, up sharply from 8,700 injuries in 2012. And 7,400 of the injuries in 2013 occurred during the 30 days surrounding July 4, 2013.

To prepare the report, CPSC staffers reviewed fireworks incident reports from hospital emergency rooms, death certificate files, news clippings, and other sources.

"CPSC works year round to help prevent deaths and injuries from legal and illegal fireworks," Acting CPSC Chairman Bob Adler said. "We engage the fireworks industry, monitor incoming fireworks shipments at the ports, and enforce federal safety rules, so that all Americans have a safe Fourth of July."

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