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Workplace injuries caused by fireworks a July 4th OSHA concern

In the week leading up to the July 4th celebrations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration warned company owners in the pyrotechnics and fireworks industry in California and other states of the dangers to which employees are exposed. The hazards exist in the entire chain of distribution. It is not uncommon for severe workplace injuries to be caused by fireworks at this time of the year.

While Americans will enjoy the exhilaration and magnificence of exploding fireworks and the grandeur of pyrotechnic displays, the employees of manufacturers, transporters and retailers face real hazards while working with these hazardous products. OSHA provides guidelines and safety regulations with which employers must comply to ensure the safety and health of their workers. The dangers are faced by those involved in the manufacturing, transport, storage, display and retail of the products.

In 2015, four workers were injured  and two others lost their lives when an explosion occurred at a fireworks factory in another state. After a thorough investigation of the incident, OSHA issued citations for 14 serious violations, and penalties of $66,221 were proposed. The safety regulations are based on the consensus standards of the National Fire Protection Association.

California workers who have suffered workplace injuries may pursue financial relief through the workers' compensation insurance system. Also, the surviving family members of employees killed on the job may file death benefits claims. Medical and/or end-of-life expenses are typically covered, along with the loss of income. Death benefits allow for a financial package to assist the covered dependents of a deceased worker with living expenses and financial obligations, such as rental or mortgage payments for a predetermined period.

Source: facilityexecutive.com, "FM Alert: OSHA Reminds Employers To Protect Workers From Fireworks Dangers", June 30, 2016

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