With Independence Day celebrations approaching, OSHA is encouraging the fireworks and pyrotechnics industry to protect workers from hazards while manufacturing, storing, transporting, displaying and selling fireworks for public events.
OSHA offers information on common hazards and solutions, including downloadable safety posters for workplaces. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces.
The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or Workers’ rights under the OSH Act.
In 2015, 11 people died and about 11,500 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. And while the majority of these incidents were due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other illegal fireworks or explosives, thousands were from less powerful devices like small firecrackers and sparklers.
Fireworks also are responsible for thousands of fires each year. The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2013, fireworks caused about 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicle fires and 14,000 other fires.
The National Safety Council advises everyone to stay away from all consumer fireworks and to only enjoy fireworks at a public display conducted by seasoned professionals.