Keep workers in fireworks, pyrotechnics industry safe this long weekend

With Canada Day right around the corner, employers in the fireworks and pyrotechnics industry to be vigilant in protecting workers from hazards while manufacturing, storing, transporting, displaying and selling fireworks for public events.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States released a statement urging these employers south of the border to be mindful of worker safety as Independence Day approaches.

"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 of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels. "Employers are responsible for keeping everyone safe on the job and taking appropriate measures to protect workers from serious injuries or death."

The same message applies here in Canada with the upcoming Canada Day celebrations July 1.

This issue is top of mind south of the border as Washington state occupational safety and health officials are investigating an explosion that occurred last week at a fireworks facility, killing one worker and injuring two more. 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.

OSHA's web page on the pyrotechnics industry addresses retail sales of fireworks and fireworks displays. Information on common hazards and solutions found in both areas of the industry, and downloadable safety posters for workplaces are available. It also includes a video which demonstrates best industry practices for retail sales and manufacturers based on National Fire Protection Association consensus standards.