OSHA Reminds Workers About Dangers of Fireworks

The agency again reminds employers to protect workers from hazards while manufacturing, storing, transporting, displaying, and selling fireworks.

OSHA is asking employers in the fireworks and pyrotechnics industry to make sure workers are protected from hazards this July 4th weekend, especially the workers who are in the business of manufacturing, storing, transporting, displaying, and selling fireworks.

Two workers were killed and four were injured in an explosion at a fireworks manufacturing facility in Alabama last year during a fireworks mixing process, the agency noted.

"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."

A 30-minute OSHA video on best safety practices for those manufacturing or selling fireworks is available here.

NFPA's Fireworks report by Marty Ahrens, dated June 2016, shows that U.S. fire departments during 2009-2013 responded to an average of 18,500 fires per year caused by fireworks. They included 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. During 2014, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 10,500 people for fireworks-related injuries, and 51 percent of the injuries were to the extremities and 38 percent were head injuries -- the data come from the Consumer Product Safety Commission's 2014 Fireworks Annual Report by Yongling Tu and Demar Granados.

Sparklers account for more than 25 percent of fireworks injuries treated in emergency rooms, according to NFPA, which also reports that more than one-quarter (28 percent) of fires started by fireworks in 2009-2013 were reported on July 4th.

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